865 Tasting Notes


On Earth Day Rishi was giving a box away every hr. for being the 1st to correctly answer a trivia question and I was the 1st to respond w/ their 11 World Tea Championship winners.

16oz. cuppa Made as directed (using Fat Free Smart Balance Milk) except I heated the milk in the microwave instead of on the stove.

Ok, what? There’s lemon juice in this? Why? Weird. At least there’s no anise.

Not bad… nothing especially tea like to it… but… wait… there’s a strange sweet burning sensation. Anise! But there isn’t any in here… is it the lemon juice? Eh. Extremely greatful to Rishi for being able to try it, but I’ll never buy it. But then again I don’t really like concentrates anyway. Not worth the 270 calories though.

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drank Matcha (100g) by Lupicia
865 tasting notes

I’m determined to figure out Koicha. So far I’ve tried 3 scoops and 3.75g (not the same thing even though wiki says it is) per 40ml of water. Today I tried 1tsp instead of using my matcha scoop. The result was a thick liquid that didn’t whisk well and was almost too bitter for my taste.

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TTB Tea #5:

I love Adagio’s loose ginseng green so I was excited to try this- and just the tea for the morning. It was picked at random so God must have really known I needed it.

1 bag (2.33g) 6oz purified water.

I steeped it for the full 4 min (2-4 suggested) because I wanted to see if it got too bitter/medicinal. The liquor is a surprisingly dark golden orange, but aroma is just as surprising because it isn’t as strong as I expected (feared?). It’s vegetal, yet smooth and sweet. When I take sip, I’m even more curious as to the base that is used. This is not the over steeped cuppa I expected. It’s vegetal, smooth, and sweet. There is a slight bitterness from the ginseng, but it’s not overly bitter at all. Happy tongue!

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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TTB Tea: 4

I’m doing a “grab and drink” method so I didn’t do any research as to the type of green tea used so it’s general steeping parameters: 1 bag (1.7g)/6oz water served clean and hot.

The liquor looks sooo strange… I mean “Take-me-to-the-ER-I-have-a-UTI” weird. Luckily it smells vegetal, slightly lemony, and a bit bitter.

The flavor is what I expected from the aroma. The lemony notes aren’t there in flavor… but there is something I can’t place… maybe it’s just the bitterness…

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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TTB Tea #3:

This tea terrifies me because I absolutely hate rooibos… but I love white tea so I gave it a try hoping catering to the white tea for the steeping parameters would be beneficial to the rooibos as well. While it is not the most disgusting rooibos I’ve ever tasted (slightly lighter and more smooth), I dumped it. This would be a fantastic tea for rooibos lovers who want the health benefits of true tea.

160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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TTB Tea #2

1 bag (2.22g)/6oz purified water served hot and neat.

I originally set the timer for 5 min (they suggest 3-5), but by 3 min the liquor was a quite dark burnt orange-ish brown so I decided to stop there. That wasn’t too surprising since the tea began smelling strongly of peaches (in they jelloy sense) as soon as the bag hit the water.

The flavor, thankfully, is not jelloy. Yes, there is a strong peachy flavoy that does in some aspects remind me of unset jello, but the oolong base is quite strong which saves it from being hot jello. A very good tea- one I appreciated drinking and would willingly drink again, but due to the vast aray of teas out there I won’t be adding this to my staples or even my “rebuy eventually” list.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I think this is the first oolong I’ve seen in a bag. But I don’t get out much. ;-)


lol! I’m just about to review an unflavored one… stay tuned! (P.S. Stash has several)


I love this one. Definitely one of my favorite bagged teas.

Pamela Dean

I like this one, and absolutely LOVE the coconut mango oolong teabag from Stash. I get anxious if I run out. If you’d like to try it, we could swap.


Thanks, but I only took one bag from the TTB and even if I had another one I can’t stand coconut.

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drank Tazo Chai by Tazo
865 tasting notes

2 bags (from the TTB), 6oz almost boiling milk, 6oz water, 1TB creme brulee creamer.

HOLY FLIPPIN ANISE! I’ve never had teabags that have smelled so much like anise. Nasty. When steeped the tea and spices aren’t holding up to the milk for some reason this time either… weird.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Madison Bartholemew

oohhh don’t do the kusmi tsablah blah chai (I can’t remember what that word is) Is SUPER anise-y!


Thanks for the warning.

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drank Maple Sugar by Tea Guys
865 tasting notes

Maple Sugar Chai! 1/2 tsp each this and Adagio’s Masala Chai and 1TB creme brulee creamer. Unfortunately not very chai like, but oh so sugary sweet!:)

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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Puerh Sample set 1: Tea #2

The leaf is lighter, less dense than I anticipated with an ever so slightly fecal aroma, but not as dark as shu.

3g/3oz just below boiling water, 15 sec rinse and 20 sec 1st steep.

The rinse is light yellow in liquor and light and sweet in aroma. The flavor is that of the liquor w/ no peppery notes that are typical of Yunnan teas- a personal yay for me. :)

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

Could you please explain how a tea can be rated a 100 while also having a “Slightly fecal aroma”?

This is important.


Because it’s pu erh- it comes w/ the territory.


I was wondering that too.?

Lainie Petersen

A bit of the barnyard is pretty much standard in pu’erh!


Hmmm I always get fishy not barnyard.


Fecal aroma : )


Still smiling. I know what you mean the more I think about it.


Question—does it taste good, even when you can taste…feces? [I’m considering trying the Chocolate Puerh]


Shanti, I do NOT like fecal tea but the fecal taste is so extremely light (and in the 1st infusion only) that I really do enjoy this… and there so NO fecality in the chocolate pu erh. The chocolate pu erh is amazing all ways- neat, milk, creamer, coffee, etc. I much prefer sheng over shu, but even w/ shu I notice that the fecality is greatly reduced w/ shorter steeps. That’s why I still can’t fathom 5min shu steeps lol.

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Made a gallon of this chilled for our weekend service trip in Milwaukee. Unfortunately I was the only one that tried it, but it is AHHMAZING!!! I think the BEST cold tea I’ve EVER had- a bit better than hot and also a bit better than Adagio’s white cucumber- although I love the white tea base.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Yay! I bought this but haven’t had a chance to try it yet. Now I’m excited!


Oh man, a gallon of that chilled sounds so so good. Can I give you my home address to send some over ;) (kidding)

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Are you a company or tea blender on sites like Adagio that would you like your tea reviewed? If so, please e-mail me @ [email protected].

What I most enjoy from obtaining samples from companies to review is that it helps me to better learn to drink and review teas from a more objective perspective, meaning more of the “This tea is…” point of view rather than the “I like/don’t like” this tea. I feel objectivism in tea reviews is EXTREMELY important because no two tea drinkers tastes are exactly the same. I’ve also been extremely surprised by several teas. I love recieving a sample I think I will be only writing an objective review on, only to completely fall in love with it upon tasting it.

Are you interested in redoing or starting your own tea related website or adding Search Engine Optimization? If so, please contact me at my work e-mail address: [email protected]

Tea tastes:
I will ALWAYS pick loose leaf over tea bags. I only drink bagged tea if that’s my only choice or I find a flavor that I can’t find a loose leaf version for. When I do drink bagged; however, I always weigh my bag and am constantly curious as to the weight/flavor ratio- sometimes I am quite surprised by the flavor punch of light bags.

I have a preference for organic and fair trade teas (preferably both), but would never pass up an amzing tea just because it isn’t organic and/or fair trade.

I love savory teas.

I’m currently searching for a chai flavored soy powder or a soy based chai mix (either already mixed or a recipe).

I hardly EVER sweeten my teas. I feel that sweeteners (unless flavored like tea honeys, brown sugar, ice cream topping syrups, flavored coffee syrups, etc) do not add anything to the flavor profile of tea- in fact, I’ve found that they dumb down the flavors.

I NEVER serve my tea over regular iced cubes- I always make tea cubes.

I LOVE cooking w/ tea and making smoothTEAS.

I LOVE tea blending.

I rarely drink herbal teas unless they are mixed with true teas. My favorite herbals to mix with true teas are: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, rose hips, and gingeroot.

I can’t stand anything w/ fennel or anise. Hot black teas (except orange pekoe bagged tea that you get when you go out to eat and chai teas) tend to upset my stomach.

I drink matcha daily and love flavoring it. I’m also in a constant search of preflavored matchas.

I’m constantly searching for information on how to prepare tea authentically according to its country of origin.

My Tasting Notes Ratings (edited 8/8/10)
1: I can’t even stand the raw leaf enough to make this (I’ve never owned a tea w/ this rating, but I’ve smelled some before buying resulting in me NOT buying them that were that bad)

2: I steeped this tea but couldn’t stand the aroma enough to get it past my nose

3: I immediately gagged at the 1st sip and spit it out.

4: I manageed to get the 1st sip down, but I tossed the rest.

5: I drank the 1st cup but I can’t bring myself to resteep

6: Made it thru the entire set of infusions but I can’t bring myself to tinker w/ the parameters and won’t be making it again.

7-10: Does not taste anything like the ingredients or name suggests (i.e. Adagio’s Sour apple)

11-25: I can taste some of the ingredients, but the flavor is severely lacking

25-49: Teas that I would not consider bad in their flavor profile, but certainly below average

50: Average.

51-69: Teas above averge, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them “good”.

70-75: Very good, but still room for improvement

76-85: Above average flavor profile

86-90: REALLY good flavors

91-99: Almost PERFECTLY achieves the goal of the ingredients and name of the tea.

100: Abosolutely perfect teas!

Other Interests: GOD! and all things pertaining to Him and His children, my dog Madison, travelling, and coffee.

Favorite Music: ANYTHING Christian. I don’t normally listen to secular music, but I do love jazz and swing.

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies mostly. My Sister’s Keeper, P.S. I Love You, Fireproof, National Treasure Trilogy (I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE 3rd ONE TO COME OUT!), Night at the Museum 1 & 2, Sister Act 1 & 2, Yes Man, Bruce & Evan Almighty, rarely watch animated movies but LOVE anything 3D.

Favorite Books: THE BIBLE!!! & My Sister’s Keeper

Favorite Quotes: “A sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ”- John Stienbeck "

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Aristotle

“You should always carry burdens, but they should never be your own”- me

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Mom was right, ‘because I say so’ is enough- at least when it comes to God.”- me

Favorite Foods: fried calamari, lemon chicken, anything w/ buffalo sauce.

Favorite Places: WA state, Switzerland, Orlando

Places I Want to Visit: Hawaii, Africa

Anything Else: I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which is the failure of the spinal column to close en utero. Because of this I am a parapelegic and use a manual wheelchair.


Oshkosh, WI



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