257 Tasting Notes

drank Florence by Harney & Sons
257 tasting notes

I ordered this tea at a local tea house—how could I not select a tea named after one of the world’s finest cities?

The aroma of chocolate is keenly sweet and the hints of hazelnut provide a dignity that does not take away from the chocolate but rather adds a grace note. It makes the tea less of a dessert tea and more of a scholarly treatise on good blends.

I drank almost the entire cup with great pleasure; at the end I experimented with a tad of sugar and milk and they seemed to obscure and not bring out the flavor. I won’t add milk again. And the sugar is not at all necessary.

Overall, I’m impressed and plan to purchase this in one of the handsome Harney & Sons tins.

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drank Lori's Lemon Tea by Honest Tea
257 tasting notes

I like Honest Tea. I like the little maxims under the top of the bottle. I like the convenience of having a source of iced tea if I cannot make some or if I need to run out of the house. I like the simple way I can sneak this in my pocketbook and get into the movie theatre with a decent drink.

Most of all, I like the way that this tea is not overly sugary. Once you try this, you can never return to bottled Lipton, Tazo, or Snapple.

The lemon taste is crisp although not overly citrusy. I can drink this without the sense that I have an IV of sugar flowing into my veins. It’s a great convenience.

Iced 0 min, 15 sec

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This was an impulse purchase for me. I do like the flavor of pear. I see that other reviews call the tea “bitter.” That was not my experience: my experience was hot water tinged with so little flavor as to be meaningless.
I know that some tea bags can really work so I don’t shun them entirely but I am going to be seeking a stronger pear blend elsewhere.

6 min, 15 sec

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
257 tasting notes

Simply delightful!
I ordered a tin of the loose tea based on its reputation. The dense, compact leaves smelled as if I had somehow landed in a delectable strawberry field. I was transformed from a dreary November afternoon into a fruited dream world of sweetness. I thought of some of the lucious music I know—-if you like Puccini at all, this tea is the equivalent of that gorgeous candied aria, “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from “La Rondine”. Ah! mio sogno! Felicita!

But I really should be referencing the sweets of France—perhaps this tea has an Italian name because it well represents the robust spectacle which is Italy? It is based on tea leaves from China and Tibet, so it really is an international melange.

I am now lusting after the jams made by Mariage Freres.

I typically try a tea dark and then decide whether I want to add sugar and/or milk. I think that Marco Polo could handle those but I was into the deliciousness so much that I could not bring myself to change one single thing.
I understand that this tea is more costly, but it is worth it.

5 min, 0 sec

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Culinary Teas had exceptionally speedy delivery service—thank you!

This evening I decided to try their Belgian Chocolate Rooibos and I was enthralled. The aroma is deep, rich, and exudes chocolate decadance.

After steeping for 7 minutes, I had a perfect calorie-free,, chocolatey dessert. The tea is smooth and lucious. I was open to adding sugar but simply did not need it. I often like the creaminess of a little milk, but this Belgiam Chocolate Rooibos was creamy “au natural”.

I’m still going to be sampling teas, but right now if I were told that Culinary Teas’ Belgian Chocolate Rooibos was the only dessert tea I could ever have, I would go to bed happy.

175 °F / 79 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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I cannot say that I hate chamomile tea, but my past experiences have been limited. I’ve had chamomiles that tasted like hot water with a faint spritz of hay seed. Back when I was in college there was the dreaded proffering of Celestial Seasonings Chamomile by those who took their earthy, hippy status seriously. Fortunately, tea has come a long way since then.

Mighty Leaf has me jonesing for more.

I just got a variety pack of Might Leaf tea-bags and decided to accompany “The Amazing Race” with a nice soothing tea. I decided, quite staunchly, that I was going to get the chamomile out of the way—the way I occasionally make myself do an unpleasant chore first thing in the day and spend the next 6 months using this one burst of virtue to justify my inherent sloth.

First I had to admire the tea bag. I imagined an artisan lovingly crocheting the string with a tiny crochet hook. As the tea brewed, citrus emerged. The typical old hayseed odor never appeared.

I was starting to get alert and to pay attention to this tea. I had regarded it as a chore to be endured and I now felt that I had arrived at the “sens de la visite” as French signs point out tourist attractions.

Mighty Leaf has concocted an impressive mélange of flavors to support whatever the essence of chamomile is. I still remain uncertain what was the chamomile–maybe the supporting cast is the star here. The citrus is strong, vibrant, but not a bit brash.

I made an immediate note to promote this Chamomile Citrus to full-time status at my house and to adopt it as a favorite evening child. I know that I really like this tea because I’m already slightly nervous that I only have one tea-bag left and the stores do not open for another 7 hours. I’m a convert!

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drank Yunnan Jig by Adagio Teas
257 tasting notes

I’m ready for more! Yannan Jig (I got it with the black tea sampler from Adagio) happened to be an almost random choice this morning but I’m quite happy with it.

It’s an easeful black with no sharp, strident, or bitter notes. I didn’t really get the peppery or smoky taste that others have referenced. I did feel, however, that this is a candidate for a great every-day wake-you-upper. My first cup of Yunnan Jig felt like meeting somebody who might be a candidate for a good friendship. I want to try more and audition it for my stable of reliable teas.

It’s not dashing or daring, but I think it could be lovable in the way that a somewhat plain girl like Jane Eyre manages to get under your skin and stay there.

5 min, 0 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


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