257 Tasting Notes

drank Boston Blend by Harney & Sons
257 tasting notes

I am a big fan of Harney & Sons and I like their Paris and Florence teas. I ordered Boston! I forgot that the tea has cranberry flavors. When I opened the tin I was overwhelmed by an aroma that was not entirely pleasant: i put my finger on it: Paregoric soaked in cherry and stored in a humidor! I was a bit surprised by the intensity of this aroma and after sitting with it for a few minutes, I had to conclude: this is a concoction of paregoric, cherries, and some cigar tobacco.

Steeped, I smell the cranberry quite clearly. And the enticement of the paregoric has gone, taking with it my opium dreams (I was of the generation where mothers used paregoric as a catch-all medicine for their children—indeed I can remember trotting off to the drug store to buy her a bottle of paregoric and a package of Parliament cigarettes all for less than 50 cents).

So aside from being a blast to the past, Boston Tea proves to be a reasonably strong, robust black tea with cranberry aroma and flavor. I cannot pick on on the almond flavor specifically, but I do recommend this tea. After the moments of strangeness, the tea itself offers a generous tea/cranberry experience which is much more authentic than some of the other cranberry flavored teas I’ve sampled before. I think this would be a great tea to serve with a holiday dinner and a good tea to keep in stock. The aftertaste is delightfully cranberry too.

Au fond, my only disappointment is that the paregoric seems to have been a temporary illusion! I could also see mixing this tea 50/50 with Florence to sample the result.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

I can remember my mom giving me paregoric as a child.


I love that in some of your notes I need to use a dictionary ;)


My mom had a recipe for cough syrup, given to her by a doctor, that called for lemon juice, paragoric, and whiskey. When I was sick as a kid I would ask if it was time for my “booze.”

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drank Thé des Sages by Dammann Freres
257 tasting notes

This is a very perfumed tea and its aroma evokes being at a busy, bustling perfume counter where a bunch of youthful girl scouts are spraying the air with all kinds of different and not necessarily complementary scents. Trying to deconstruct the riot of flavours and aromas is not easy.

Perhaps this tea is too much of a good thing: it’s as if a master builder had only one opportunity to create a building and tried to do a Bauhaus structure with Gothic gargoyles, rococo flying buttresses, and Frank Lloyd Wright glass.

Perhaps it’s not wise to gather up so many sages for one single tea. But it’s not cacophonous—-just a bit busy. I think that the citrus looms larger than the rest.

Or maybe a decent Earl Grey got loose in the kitchen one night and added all of the loose ingredients it could find to itself.

4 min, 15 sec

Dear friend, you are the literate queen of creative and evocative tasting notes! Chuckled all the way through this one.


Oh yes and loved the images in the first paragraph!


I really like the way you described that, particularly the last part about the Earl Grey. I know you wrote this five years ago, but it’s still beautiful.

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drank Butter Pecan Black Tea by 52teas
257 tasting notes

Sweet and nutty, this tea fulfills its promise. It is very good but does not pop quite as much as other 52teas have done. I want to go and eat the tea leaves, however. This impulse is unusual and indicates the nutty goodness of the tea.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Southern Boy Teas

Have you tried this one iced? I dare you to try it iced and not think of Butter pecan ice cream.

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drank Queen's Blend by A C Perch's
257 tasting notes

Much gratitude to ANGRBODA for sending me this tea. I have been a fan of the Queen of Denmark for decades—since she was a young girl with her lovely parents and her two younger sisters. I was, therefore thrilled to try the tea that she drinks expecting a intelligent and feminine blend.

The aroma of the dry tea is magnificent: it’s like stepping into an exquisite flower shoppe. The floral scent is multifarious. The tea itself is like a fairly strong Earl Grey with added floral oomph.

What a pleasure!

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec
Meghann M

Sounds like a perfect tea to be fit for a queen.

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drank Irish Cream by DAVIDsTEA
257 tasting notes

I liked this tea quite a bit. If you like Irish Cream, you are likely to like this tea because it’s a superb replication of the aroma and the flavor of a good Irish Cream. True, they did not add the alcohol but everything else is there.

The dry leaves are very attractive and colorful. The aroma is quintessance of Bailey’s Irish Cream. The taste is lovely and I cannot disagree with anyone who would give this a rating of “100”. I don’t because I am using that rating for the flavors that make me lose control—-as Patty Duke reputedly did with a hot dog—-. I have always liked Irish Cream but never loved it.

I got the French label which seems to think I’ll engage in an Irish jig (gigue) upon drinking this. I feel as sedentary as ever, but I also enjoyed this tea a lot. I would not make a special order just for this tea, but next time I order from David’s tea, I will probably purchase Irish Cream again.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

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drank Tzar Alexandre by Mariage Frères
257 tasting notes

I could not find an English translation of this. I ordered this tea from Mariages Freres in Paris because it is smoky. As a lover of lapsang souchongs, I expected to like this and I love it.

It’s not as purely smoky and peaty as some Russian Caravans can be: there is a touch of a kind of perfumed sweetness which reminds me a bit of Upton Tea’s Black Dragon and which highlights the smoke very nicely. I feel as if I am in a Parisian bistro surrounded by a glamourous smoky atmosphere but the smoke is all sweetness and not the least bit offensive.

I’ll have to place another order with Mariage Freres in France later this year; they have so many delightful blends that I don’t think are available in North America: (Vivaldi, Confucius, Elixir d’amour, etc.) I also ordered their Lapsang Souchong jam which is just extraordinary.

4 min, 30 sec

Ah well, yet another one to try next time I can splurge on Mariage Freres…


OOOH, LS jam…


Ah, sounds lovely! If I can’t find this one, maybe I can get some Upton Black Dragon!


Your note just made my day! I’ll definitely save up to go in on a French order for later this year if you do another group order. And LS jam? ::drools::


Is the jam sweet or savory?


I took a stab at the translation, but I’m admittedly an amateur.


The jam is sweet — it tastes quite a bit like an LS loaded with sugar but its weirdly compelling and I find it an excellent excuse for calorie expenditure.

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drank Je T'Aime by THE O DOR
257 tasting notes

What a delicious tea! It’s beautiful dry and the steeped tea has a very sweet liquer. I can most certainly taste the marzipan/almond flavor. The pistachio is a bit more remote, but it’s there. I also pick up on a big coconut flavor which is not puzzling considering that the written catalogue I have mentions the flavour of “Parisian macaroons”.

This is a perfect pick-me-up afternoon black tea and it would also be perfect for a special meeting…. Simply lovely! The flavors are exquisite but the black tea does not compromise its strength.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec
Lucía Guerrero

Delicious ! love it ;-)

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This is a tasty tea, no doubt, but I needed to use a LOT of dry tea for a decent cup and I don’t know how cost-effective it is.

There are dried apples in the tea: I tasted and tasted. It’s not caramel. It’s not caramel-covered apples; it is apple. But the tea does not taste much like apple, in any event.
It’s a nice tea—don’t get my wrong—but at the price, I don’t think it is worth it. I’ve had much better caramel teas and much better chocolate teas.

I’m also starting to realize that I don’t much care for teas named after desserts.

4 min, 0 sec

I’ll admit that this is more subtle, but I really enjoyed it :) Now I’m very curious as to what some of your favorite caramel teas are.


I like “The Tea Table’s” Caramel, which is quite inexpensive; American Tea Room also has one that I like quite a lot.


Thank you so much! I’ll definitely try those out before purchasing any more of this one. After all, there are a few Tea Table teas that I would like to reorder after I finish the Shakespeare box.

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ANGRBODA very kindly sent me a generous portion of this tea. I had not had any since it was first released and I like it more than most people here do. The cherry taste is a bit muted, I agree. But there’s something about the “cola” taste that I love. Indeed, I’ve been known to wear cola fragrance: L’Aromarine Cola Eau de Toilette is the best inexpensive scent I have. This tea tastes like the liquid scent.

There are a bunch of complex notes vying for attention here, I think, which is why it might not seem utterly successful as a cherry tea or as a vanilla tea or as a cola tea, but I like the mix very much.

Boiling 4 min, 45 sec

I didn’t know there was such a thing as cola perfume – you’re officially awesome Doulton. ;)

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What a delicious blend! I’m swooning with delight. Many many thanks to Angrboda for introducing me to this tea. I love smoky teas and this one refuses to wimp out. It’s a strong and serious drink with smoldering yet clear intentions. This tea offers uncompromising deliciousness to all lovers of smoky tea. Many Lapsang Souchong blends tend to add sweetness or lightness to the mix but this one reinforces and enhances the strong smoke.

Absolutely, devastatingly perfect—a tea to love!

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

Now that’s a great review of this tea!!!! :)


Angrboda is so sweet letting so many of us try this, isn’t she? LOVE IT

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Congrats Doulton! This is a Featured tealog.


oo congrats!

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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


In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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