150 Tasting Notes

drank Premium Assam Tea by Golden Tips
150 tasting notes

I’m on an Assam tea kick recently. Sometimes I like to try many of the same types of teas in a short time span to better appreciate their similarities and differences.

This particular Assam tea has no golden buds in it that I can detect. I do see some lighter colored buds in the black tea, but I would describe them more as beige than golden. The leaves have a sweet aroma, and the infusion is a light amber. The liquor has a light, sweet flavor with a bit-o-malt(iness) at the very end.

Overall, this is a not offensive but it’s also in no way what I expect from an Assam.

Edit: This tea really began to frustrate me after my second cup. There’s almost no astringency and it seems very flat to me. I’m lowering my rating.


want me to send you some banaspathy assam?



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This chai smells so wonderful! I love that it’s an herbal chai so you can drink it anytime day or night, and of course I’m a fan of cocoa nibs.

At first sip, I get a rush of chocolate that mellows into a very nice, (not too strong), spicy flavor. The finish has a punch of cardamom to it that lingers in your mouth.

I quite like this tea. Unfortunately, after I had my first cup and I visited the CTH website for more information, and I found that white chocolate pieces had been added to the ingredient list for this tea. D’oh, white chocolate often has a dairy component and I can’t have the dairy in my teas. I’ve emailed CTH in the hopes that the white chocolate they use is non-dairy which isn’t common but does exist. I really hope I can have this tea again because it’s delish.

Update: I heard back from CTH and the white chocolate pieces that they have recently added to this blend ARE VEGAN!!!! \o/

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drank Rouge Bourbon by Mariage Frères
150 tasting notes

Rouge Bourbon is a tasty vanilla rooibos tea. I’m just not sure that I’m WOWd. The flavor is pleasant but I was hoping for something a little more bourbon… or special… or interesting. I get that vanilla extract is (often) made with bourbon, hence there’s (often) a bourbon flavor in the vanilla, but I still find myself wanting more from the flavor of this tea.

I’m a lucky girl because SimplyJenW spoiled me with an XL sample of this baby so I can give it a few more tries. Hug/ smacks to you my tea-friend :)


I was not wowed by this one, either, but I thought it was more due to the fact that rooibos is not really my ‘bag’. I think we should be able to expect more from MF. I am partial to Metro’s Bourbon Street Vanilla Rooibos.


AND now I have another tea to obssess over trying :)


The vanilla here is really really delicate – I mentally classify this as plain rooibos (the best one!) rather than flavoured one. Vanilla IMO goes over really well with rooibos, and this one seems to be just the little bit necessary, a hint, for make very good (IMO) rooibos shine. Which of course means it is not necessarily a good rooibos for people who do not like rooibos. I think they got a more vanilla-ey version of vanilla rooibos, though I can not recall!

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drank Banana Nut Bread by The NecessiTeas
150 tasting notes

I have to say that Linsey out did herself with this blend! Banana Nut Bread does taste like it’s fresh out of the oven. The spices are right on and the banana flavor is rich and natural tasting.

So very, very, very, good!

Ashley Bain

I was curious about this one! Especially since Frank’s Hot Buttered Banana Bread isn’t a permanent :( Loved that stuff.


I love this one in a completely different way. This rooibos version has even more of a true banana bread flavor in my opinion, but I still have much love for Frank’s black tea version as well :)

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I’m kinda in love with this tea. I wrote a song about it… I didn’t actually write a song about it. However, I have been admiring its beautiful golden buds, and sticking my entire nose into the package to breath in its earthy aroma. This is a gorgeous second flush Assam!

The infusion is a rich, dark amber color, and the flavor of the liquor is bold with mallt(y) and spicy notes. The finish is very clean and refreshing. There’s an underlying sweetness to this tea that makes it almost wine-like.

I could drink this tea all day long. I was so inspired that I created a recipe for Mangalam Assam Yellow Curry with Chickpeas and Spinach using this very tea. Check it out here if you like http://bit.ly/nlINXr .

Addition: This song is for Kashyap who claims that I can’t be a bona fide tea-nerd unless I actually do write a song about this tea. Here goes nothing…

clears throat

Mangalam Assam you are the bomb
You’re such a tippy tea
You are the one for me
Mangalam Assam

You’re golden buds are never duds
You are the best
Above the rest
Mangalam Assam

Grown in the lowland clay
I’d drink you everyday
With you I’ll always stay
Mangalam Assam

acoustic guitar solo


My kids love spinach. I’m going to try this recipe out on them! Thanks!


I love to use tea in cooking, to make stock and to pulverize it into a powder to sprinkle on things…being allergic to onions has forced a kind of adaption, but what a wonderful journey of cooking with tea….I also think that if you ever wrote a song about this you should so link and post it :) …I love the Mangalam, but the ultimate of tea-nerd-porn would be a song :)


Allergic to onions? I would kill you with my cooking :( Are you allergic to garlic as well? If not, I think that you could still make a nice adapted stock with carrots, celery, garlic, ground tea, herbs, salt, and pepper. Not completely traditional but we don’t need no stinkin’ tradition anyway.
I’ll be working on my song today because I strive to be the ultimate tea-nerd in anyway I can.


yeah…leeks, chives, white, yellow onions, ramps…all off this list…but mercifully garlic is ok…and i do make my own stocks…and love it when i can substitute tea…look forward to the song :)


I will have to write this down and try it. I’ve never cooked with tea leaves and the recipe sounds delicious.


MegWesley, Thank you! It really did taste yummy albeit a more brown than I like my food to be. The spinach goes a long way to brighten it up though. I’m just a color freak when it comes to food. I have problems…


Kashyap, please see song above. You’re welcome :)


Awesome! I especially love the guitar solo part, and the clever words.


SimplyJenW, let’s face it… the guitar solo is the strongest bit. You’re clearly a music aficionado :)


Ok Jen…I never implied a song was neccessary but thank you for your efforts at turning drinking a tea into a musical experience…now to youtube it :)


Rock on, sister!


Can I be the guitar soloist on the YouTube video? I can rock a black curly wig like Slash. Or a bandana like Brett Michaels. Or poor fashion choices like Blondie.


Hmmm, I was going to ask to rock with you, but since that is an acoustic guitar solo, I am thinking this performance should be more like “Kiss At the End of the Rainbow”. But I don’t mind, I can do folk music, too! I have garage band on my iPad, now we just need a camera man…

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I’m taking SimplyJenW’s lead here in wishing Mr. Harney a very Happy Birthday!!!!

This tea is another one from my impulse buy gone awry, but at least this tea IS in sachets. I’ve had White Vanilla Grapefruit before and I’ve liked it. Tonight, for some odd reason, it tastes bitter and bad. Why? Wwwhhhyyyy???? I think I need some sleep, so no rating for now.


This one sounds interesting. I may throw a sample in my cart.


I’ll send you some! Please don’t buy any untill you know that you love it :)


Edit: Until not untill… gish!


LOL! I understood! I will pm my address. Thanks!


Yay! I’m totally literate lately with my comments :/

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After a long run of flavored teas, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to get back to basics a bit. Ahhh… yes, this is good. I love to poor white tea out into a little glass bowl and marvel at the whiskery leaves (hairy little bastards). I’ve been examining my tea a lot this way recently in the interest of science (or in lieu of a hobby). My new hobby could be the overuse/ misuse of brackets (hmmmm).

This Silver needle by Canton is very whiskery! The flavor is refreshing, creamy, and I can taste melon in the finish. This is a very delicate but still flavorful white tea.

Edit: The melon flavor really developes as this tea cools!

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drank Apricot Chai by California Tea House
150 tasting notes

This is a tasty apricot black tea but I’m not getting much of a chai flavor from it. I can taste a the very natural apricot flavor, bold black tea body, and just a bit of ginger for the finish. I’m not tasting the spiciness of a chai.

Read my full review on Teaviews http://bit.ly/plOaam

Ashley Bain

I have a sample of this from teaviews.com, haven’t tried it yet, though.
From reading the description on their website, I wonder if they were going for a traditional spicy chai? Chai is a hard word to define, especially since in other countries chai just means tea. What Americans call chai is actually masala chai. It sounds yummy nonetheless, though. I absolutely love apricot/peach flavors.


My sample came from the same place :) I read the description as well, and I get that they were not going for an over the top “spicy chai” or masala chai. Because CATH this is a San Diego based company so I don’t think they mean simply tea when they say chai, and they did add ginger and cloves to the tea which are traditional chai spices. It’s a good tea and this was just my casual first impression. I look forward to seeing what you think of it when you give it a try.


Ashley, I hate that we can’t edit our comments! There are a couple unnecessary words there in the middle, but you get my drift :)


I had a sample of this a while back, I agree, not a traditional chai but I really enjoyed it. Actually one of the best Apricot teas I had tasted.

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drank Kiwi Cherry Bonanza by Tiesta Tea
150 tasting notes

This is a really good fruity tisane. The cherry and kiwi flavors are distinct and not at all medicinal tasting. Tonight I drank Kiwi Cherry Bonanza hot but I bet it would be fantastic iced. It’s super fruity but I shamelessly like the fruit.

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Meethinks that Frank is a huge fan of boat-drinks. And that’s okay by me because I’ve yet to be disappointed by any of his pina colada teas.

I cold steeped this one over night and I’ve been sipping it all day between other teas. I think that this black tea version has a great flavor, and I’ve gotten two pitchers out of one packet so far. I like it a lot.

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I’m an animal loving vegan foodie, and a card carrying tea fanatic! Didn’t you get your card?

I typically drink my black tea with a splash of almond or coconut cream and a dash of turbinado sugar or stevia. My green teas I typically drink straight, and the same goes for most of my other teas with an occasional exception. I live on the edge!

Please check out my website Cookin’ Vegan at www.cookinvegan.com if you’re hungry.

I’m also a bit of a knitwit. I have an Etsy shop where I sell pretty little knitted and knitting accessories called Baubles 4 Knitwits at www.Baubles4Knitwits.etsy.com.

Find me on the Twitter @cookinvegan http://twitter.com/#!/cookinvegan

But enough about me…


Los Angeles Area



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