257 Tasting Notes


As Auggy wrote in a review of this tea, it is very similar to Cream Soda. The vanilla aroma is lovely but I think that the vanilla overpowers the jasmine in the tea. I like this quite well, but I’ve had better Jasmine teas and I’ve had better Vanilla teas. I think that the combination does not dance symbiotically. Vanilla takes too much of a lead.

Drinking Vanilla Jasmine was more than a little pleasant but not enough of a knock-out for me to invest in a full size. But I can understand why some palates will award this with a top score of 100.

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Can’t wait to try this and see how I like this. :-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Amethyst by Old Wilmington Tea Co
257 tasting notes

Thank you so very much to Jenn-Cha for sending me a sample of this.

The tea is really a sort of dark purple-brown color when brewed. And it’s also that rarity for me: a truly unique tea. It’s delicious and I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. The Old Wilmington Tea Company describes it as being musky, which it is—in the very best sense. It smells as if the tea had been grown in the middle of a vineyard, with a rich, deep fertilizer. I would not say that the tea is like wine, but it does leave an after-taste quite reminiscent of a big Tuscan wine. It is not merely the color! I also note a particular taste which is NOT unpleasant but which I can only describe as Korean buckwheat noodles served with an Italian wine.

This tea is clearly cosmopolitan and sophisticated!

2 min, 15 sec

I’m intrigued!

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Thanks very much to the wonderful CAIT, I had a sample of this tea. I’d had it around for a while but have not been drinking much rooibos at all. Last night I wanted a hot drink, and decided to try this one.

Unlike other tasters, I thought that the taste was not off at all—at least not off for me. Maybe it’s the black current? I liked the fact that the rooibos did not stick out its head and start singing “I am sawdust, hear me roar”. Instead, it was a docile and quiet vehicle for a mild-mannered vanilla/current beverage.

I think that Art of Tea has done a better job than many places of formulating rooibos blends. For me, it’s tantamount to sticking the pill in cat food and hoping that the cat does not notice. Typically the cat glares daggers at me before he or she is within a room-full of the tainted food but every now and then there’s a cat who bravely (or naively) will eat the food and eat the pill and make life easy for everyone. Art of Tea seems to conceal rooibos like the bitter pill that must be adulterated.

But I ramble. This rooibos tea reminded me that they need not all be deadly.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

That’s how I feel about hibiscus in my fruity teas … the pill in the cat food. Perfect analogy!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Gross never thought of it that way. LOL :-)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Almond by Adagio Teas
257 tasting notes

As others have mentioned, I found this tea to be a tad bitter although I did not oversteep it. I think next time I’ll give it 3 mins. instead of four. It’s pure almond and I have had better almond. There is something just slightly synthetic about this—-not really synthetic but as if it relied more on almond oil than some of the other teas. It is not a bad tea but I do have other almond teas that I keep around and so I probably will not reorder this one.

As a side-note, however, you can get this in a very generous $2.00 sample size which I strongly recommend. I like almond so much, that an almond tea can hardly go wrong with me unless it is utterly tasteless.

4 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.


Randomly Selected Gold Moon Sampler number in the vicinity of 20 or 21

I always thought that cats had an innate system of checks and balances that involved leaping up on tables but not knocking over the long-stemmed wine-glasses or not leaping into the tea mugs.

My first infusion of this was poured into a very nice bee house banilla-colored (I made that it — it’s not quite the white of a vanilla and not quite the yellow of a banana) 5 ounce mup (not quite cup; not quite mug) that I use for a lot of my smaller samples.

Anyhow, as it was cooling my calico cat Zoey took a flying leap at it and the tea and the mup flew off the desk. Fortunately nothing broke but Zoey stared at me imperiously as I cleaned it up.

I proceed to make second infusion. I am a bit underwhelmed. I’ve had green teas that have really nice vegetal or buttery tastes and the most recent one I had, a Wazuka Sencha, was delighfully complex. This one is pedestrian at best. I would not invest in it as a “go-to” green tea. It’s not awful—it just does not have any zing or snap crackle pop or butter or grass to it. Maybe it needed a longer steeping but a green tea can turn in the blink of an eye from a buttercup to a rancid bitter old shrew. How delicate then can be.

Zoey is unrepentent. RIght now she’s licking the tea off her toes with the spirit of a Rosie the Riveter.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Zoey obviously knew the tea wasn’t going to impress you. She was trying to do you a favor, it seems. ;-)


Between “banilla” and Zoey this note gave me the goofiest grin :)

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Wazuka Sencha by THE O DOR
257 tasting notes

The O Dor sent me a free sample of this delicious green tea. Next time I order from them I will select a full size of this. It’s grassy and a bit fruity although I cannot really identify the fruits—not exactly melon or citrus but perhaps a bit of a peach/nectarine/plum thing.

It’s a very fine tea indeed with some butter to it, but not so much as to be distracting.

2 min, 45 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Lemon Yunnan by Samovar
257 tasting notes

Thank you to LORI for this sample. I am drinking it right now and find it simply delicious. As Ricky noted, the dry leaf seems to equally feature greenish lemongrass and black leaves—and it’s an attractive mix.

Yes, it smells like Lemon Pledge but what if Lemon Pledge is really the aroma of lemon? I’m just saying—every since the Lemon Pledge comparison here was published, I’ve been afflicted by Lemon-y Pledge-ness. In the mouth, however, it’s really not at all a polishing agent nor the least bit chemical or synthetic.

I think that this is an excellent choice for lovers of lemon and wish I had a handy slice of lemon to add. I also suspect it would be a fantastic iced tea. Perhaps the better name would be something like “Superior Black Lemon Tea” because it was hard for me to detect a Yunnan note but I can certainly taste that the black tea is a high quality one.

I have not tasted too many of them, but this is certainly the best lemon black tea blend I have had. I would consider purchasing a full load of it.

Or maybe I’m just in a good mood because I had a particularly bright Dolcetto with a dinner prepared by somebody else. (Query: why does tea taste better when I brew it myself but food and wine taste better when cooked and decanted by somebody else???)

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

I just splurged and bought a large tin of this one!


Maybe the food and wine taste better because of the ‘specialness’ of having someone do it for you?


Now I wish someone would brew some tea for me!


My 12 year old is our “barista.” She brews tea for my music student and myself every Tuesday at 3 pm. It is sooooo good. Nice to have a child who loves good tea and is so helpful and willing! She joins us for tea and cookies.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Lapsang Souchong by Adagio Teas
257 tasting notes

EDIT: I think that Adagio has done something very WRONG with their Lapsang Souchongs in the past year—or else my taste has evolved. I would not order from them again. It’s weak and synthetic.

Have I ever met a Lapsang Souchong I did not like? Does a bear wear a mitre around hte Vatican? I wanted to test some Adagio samples and sprang for a full-load of this and do not regret it.

I think that Narien LS is smokier and stronger and I like the sweetness that Black Dragon from Upton Teas adds, but Adagio has acquitted itself more than honourably here. Very well done and their speedy shipping is deeply appreciated.

I know that I will order this again. I have a perpetual motion machine going of various Lapsang Souchongs coming in and going out and I don’t know that I will develop loyalty to any one brand—beyond my need to keep Black Dragon in stock. Knowing that I like this tea so much, I might see if I can concoct a special blend, although I cannot conceive of a Souchong sharing center stage with other flavors.

And I now see that this is my tasting note #200! It is right and fitting that it be in celebration of a Lapsang Souchong.

200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Congrats on your 200th tasting note! Hooray!!!


Congrats, D!


Wonderful note and congratulations on 200!

This was my first ever LS and thus will always have a special place in my heart and my cupboard. Now that I’ve had the Black Dragon and Narien (thanks to you!) I know for sure that this is a good LS, but I do like the other two a bit better :)


Congrats!! ;)


Congrats on 200!


wooohoooo! ’grats

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Snow Sprout by Golden Moon Tea
257 tasting notes

This elegant dry leaf brews up to a somewhat lackluster tea. I have tasted green teas that had tons more character and I’ve even had white teas that offered more.

I think, however, that the problem is ME and not Golden Moon. I’m one of Swift’s over-sized Brobdingagians in my taste and my temperaments. I like the huge big bow-wow and Snow Spout is like one of those delicate tiny humming-birds: blink and you don’t see it. I think that lovers of green tea might like this a lot and it’s worth trying for lovers of white tea.

I’m thinking of Stevie Smith’s charming couplet:
“That Englishwoman is so refined,
She has no bosom and no behind.”

This tea has got no bosom, no behind, but it is most certainly refined.

2 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

I love how you described this one. Paints a picture :-)


I’m glad to hear – especially from someone who likes big showy teas – that there is a range of character in green and white tea. I suspected as much, but it’s still heartening! Needless to say, I’m still looking for a white tea to wow me.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

drank Honey Pear by Golden Moon Tea
257 tasting notes

Many many thanks to the benevolent RICKY who sent me a generous sample of Honey Pear. Like others have said, the dry tea does not give away much in its odor. The brewed tea is sweet and delicious. It is very pleasantly sweet, just slightly astringent, and while the aftertaste of pear emerges quite nicely, it does not taste overtly of pear.

All in all, I don’t think I would buy a full order of this tea, but I might consider it. I think that the flavor of pear is elusive and delicate and hard to capture. When I think of Golden Moon’s Melon Tea, which I adore, I think that this one is a failure—perhaps a noble failure, but it just does not hit that great mark of prominence. If I wake up tomorrow jonesing for this tea, I will be certain to revise my note.

One aspect of tea that is important to me is “memory”. Do I remember the tea when it’s not in front of my face? Do I think of it fondly? Do I make up endearing little nicknames for it? Do I anthropomorphize the tea? I can remember good teas that taste wonderful. That’s a bit different than remembering a tea because of the time and place (you can bet I was thrilled with myself to be drinking tea in London’s Tate, but I am not certain that it was the tea as much as the location and the Turner excitement).

So we will see if Honey Pear makes another entry into my life. Will it be a very minor character or will it become a friend? Is it merely going to flirt with friendship? Or am I the one flirting with it?

“Th’event”, as Shakespeare often and very economically said to indicate that time and the future will reveal the outcome.

4 min, 0 sec

Wonderful thoughts on “tea memory.” I must admit that I had a very memorable tea this morning that I’m still trying to decide where it fits in the Shakespeare cannon. The tea (which will be revealed later) was the best part of my day. :)


A good tea can indeed be the high point of a day. I absolutely agree.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.



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.

Following These People

Moderator Tools

Mark as Spammer