1112 Tasting Notes

So I worked and worked and worked on my blend of earl grey, the Earl’s Garden (a berry earl grey from DAVIDsTEA), and vanilla tea. Each time, it felt like it needed more vanilla. So I finally got it tasting exactly how I thought it should taste this morning, and then realized – gosh this tastes an awful lot like Paris! That is wonderful — because I love Paris! But it’s also kinda funny because I have a half pound of Paris in my cupboard already (!). Now I have another 4 oz, more or less. OK!

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Cant have too much Paris is my motto.


I’m sipping Tower of London right now and remembering how much I love it.

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All done :( I thoroughly enjoyed this Earl. What I especially liked about it was that it was a “morning” Earl — bold and good for a wake-up. Even the bergamot was extra fruity (but not perfumey or soapy in the least).

I’m still on a tea buying ban, but I would re-buy this one in a second! One of my loopholes is that I can buy tea if it’s of a type I love and I completely run out of that type. I have a little Earl Grey Supreme in my cupboard, but I think when I’m done it, I will get this Earl again!

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I made a Franken-blend from all of my random bits and bobs of unflavored black teas in an effort to consolidate my little tins, baggies, and whatnots. From memory, I know there is some Keemun, Yunnan, Assam, and other Indian teas in this melange.

Success! This is a bold, chocolatey tea that is best with milk and sugar. I wouldn’t go a touch over 4 minutes, and I’m glad I used a timer. I feel like I have a brand new tin of tea (I think I gathered together about 3 oz of leaves altogether!) without spending a penny. Some of the teas were 2 or 3 years in my cupboard, and the fresher additions really gave them a new life. I highly recommend Franken-blending to revitalize your neglected, leftover, or otherwise languishing teas!

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I’ve always wanted to try blending…I think I’ll go try it now! Any tips on how to get the best flavor?


Think of what you know about your teas — like I thought about how this Keemun is chocolatey and the particular Yunnan is caramel-y and the Indian tea is earthy and chocolatey — so I knew they had a good chance of going well together. If I had, say, a lemony Ceylon, I would not have used it in this blend. I knew one tea was kinda tired and I always had to double the amount I used for good flavor, so I knew that blending with my fresher, bolder teas would most likely result in a nice strength. Those are the little ideas I used. I don’t know if that’s how you’re supposed to do it, but :)

I also make another frankenblend of some vanilla tea, an earl grey, and a fruit tea — it wasn’t perfect so I added more vanilla tea — so don’t be afraid to tweak things if you are not pleased at first.


I’ve had a jar of “junkyard tea” going for a while now; its personality changes often. Mostly used for iced tea—haven’t tried the latest iteration hot yet.

Terri HarpLady

Yay for FrankenTea!

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I made this one with my latest obsession: Vanilla Bean Infused Honey: http://www.republicoftea.com/vanilla-bean-honey-for-tea-12-oz/p/V00506/

The honey makes what is a very good already tea ridiculously fantastic. The caramel and the honey and the vanilla bean – ah! A splash of milk, too. Just wonderful. So satisfying and real tea-ish. Real dessert tea-ish nonetheless!

I could probably drive myself into the poor house at the rate I would like to consume this vanilla bean honey. Thankfully, I noticed that it’s pretty easy to make:


I made 6 jars of it today — I’ll let you know how it tastes in about a week or two :) I also made one jar with honey, vanilla bean, and a teaspoon of Penzeys cinnamon. I REALLY can’t wait to try that one!


that sounds awesome!


That does sound yummy

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I finally had Pleine Lune sans additions (mmmmmm). Does it remind anyone else of Nina’s Marie Antoinette? It could be my cold, but boy, I thought that they tasted so similar. Nina’s has more green apple, but the fruit and spice and maybe even a little floral? is there for me. Nuts? Maybe I’m the one who is nuts!

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Thank you, thank you, thank you Organic Ginger Root! I’ve been drinking this tisane non-stop for three days straight. It is the only thing that comforts me during the day when I have a cold (I will admit that my all-natural preferences go right out the door at night. Give me Nyquil, and give me lots of it! If any of you have a good substitute for Nyquil, I’m all ears. I am up all night aching and coughing without it).

I don’t like the way plain water tastes when I’m sick, so drinking cup after cup of this keeps me hydrated. It tastes wonderful (if you’re a ginger fan), keeps me warm, and the honey is so soothing for my cough.

I seem to only drink this tisane if I’m not well in some way — stomach ache, cold — but for those days it’s indispensable.

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Oh yes! I’d love to find something to help with congestion/coughing overnight as well. As much as I hate it, I also rely a little too much on the good ol nyquil :/


I can’t have any cold medicine cause it makes my heart race and does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do: it keeps me up all night!
I doubt it can put you in a coma the way Nyquil does, but I usually have a valerian infusion just before bedtime plus I bought some good quality eucalyptus essential oil last year with a candle diffuser. I mix a few drops with water, and put it on my night stand. It created a nice vapour and really helps. I also put a few drops on my pillows. Of course, if your other half can’t stand the smell, it’s could be a problem!


TheTeaFairy – this is really helpful – thank you! I’ve been sleeping in a recliner downstairs because I need my head elevated, so the EO diffusion will not be an issue :) I actually have some valerian and will try switching to that tonight – I don’t like to take cold medicine for more than three days if I can help it.

Again, thank you so much!


Ditto on eucalyptus; I put several drops on a washcloth and drop it in the tub while taking a hot shower to make happy steam. Get better!


Yay! I really hope it helps you feel better :-)

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I was trying to make some room in my spice cabinet for a newly bought jar of paprika, and saw an envelope in the back of the cupboard. Hmm. What’s this?

I opened it and saw that it was tea from ashmanra! Gasp! I must have been in one of my crazyrush flurries and put it in the general place it was supposed to go and never put it with my actual tea things. Bad, bad JacquelineM.

I sniffed the leaves and they smelled like apples and cloves and almonds and something floral. Ohmygosh. Could there be a more perfect tea for the beginning of autumn?

I’m enjoying my first cup, sans additions, and loving it (I took a raw sugar packet out, but sipped the tea first and decided it needs nothing). I read some tasting notes saying it was strong in flavor, so I steeped it for two minutes — perfect.

I’m tasting just what I smelled — an apple cider flavor, almonds, and a floral-ness — it doesn’t scream rose to me, but floral, and it’s just on the end of the sip. I love it. I must procure some!

What other lovelies should I try from Nina’s? :)

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I am totally addicted to Nina’s Paris. My favourites are eve, Tigre blanc and ma passion. But to be honest I have not tried a Nina’s I didn’t like. I also really like the Assam and even though I am not a huge rooibos fan, Taurus was very good.


Thank you, Lala! I looked them up, and they all sound good!


I recomend Je T’aime, as I know you are a vanilla fan as well. Its a great wooly sweater of a caramel vanilla tea.


Rosehips – that sounds Mmmm!!!!!


Oh, it is!


I adore Grand Amour and Japon. But like Lala said, I haven’t had one I didn’t like yet.


Enthusiastic affirmation of all of the above!

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My Pen Pal and book blogger extraordinaire Jenny Colvin (http://readingenvy.blogspot.com/) created this tea over at Adagio, and enclosed a pouch with her last letter. Earl Grey Creme. Coconut. Yes please! Once I inhaled the delightful fragrance of the dried blend, I wondered why I never thought to combine these flavors — they smell SO GOOD together.

The brewed tea is absolutely delicious. The creme together with the coconut is swoonworthy, and then the light citrus adds elegance and prevents the blend from being too over the top dessert-y. Perfect sans additions (although I could see adding a little milk and sugar for a decadent treat. I can see making a tea latte for a really, really decadent treat, too!).

Magic! Jenny, how did you think of Earl Grey and Coconut together? Brilliant!

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drank Wuyi Ensemble by Adagio Teas
1112 tasting notes

This one courtesy of Tea Sipper’s traveling tea box!!

I love dark oolongs, which makes it mysterious as to why it’s taken me weeks (months?) to try this! Picture me slapping my own hand!

The first steep at around — almost 3 minutes is roasty and chocolatey but vegetal too. Very delicious. The tea liquor is ambery — lighter than the bold flavor would lead me to expect.

I tried the second steep at 4 minutes, but I think I could have left it at 3. A little bitter and astringent — but by all means enjoyably drinkable — just a note for me to remember for next time to keep the steeps short.

I can tell that I will get several more steeps from these leaves! What a nice change of pace from black tea without sacrificing heft. I need more dark oolongs in my life!

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I haven’t been drinking much tea in the evenings. I was so overheated each day on my walk home from the train that hot tea was the furthest thing from my mind — even after I cooled off in the air conditioning! Now that the weather has cooled and I’ve been having breezy, pleasant walks home, the craving for evening tea has returned.

I had made an apple cake (http://notwithoutsalt.com/2012/10/21/chopped-apple-cake/ – easy and delicious, but I bet it would be just as good with only 1/2 c oil and 1/2 c sugar and half the salt) and thought this chai would be lovely with it — it was :) Very cinnamon-y and sweet-spicy. Flavorful enough to eat with cake. Wonderful with a little honey and milk. In fact, I have every intention to repeat this same exact combination this evening. Perfect.

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Mmmm… That looks delicious!


inguna — it really is :) I got some large honeycrisp apples at the farmers’ market, and one apple was enough to make this cake. I can’t wait to have some more tonight — but then, alas, it will be gone :(


That sounds a lot like my Mom’s apple cake recipe, which I guess I will have to break down and learn to make myself, since her kitchen days have ended :( Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, she used a little less apple and stirred in candied fruit. Million times better than commercial fruitcake.


gmathis – that sounds delicious! I was going to put some candied ginger in it — and now I regret that I didn’t. Next time :)

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I love to cook, bake, read, paint, knit, do needlework, and garden. I need my coffee, but I LOVE my tea. I work at an Art School, and attend a large public university doing post-bac work (my BA is in English). I’m interested in the liminal spaces between art and craft, the academic and the practical, the individual and community, and the old and the new. I’m currently exploring these ideas through the disciplines of education, literature, history, and psychology.

I enjoy writing tasting notes, but have decided not to numerically rate teas as of 9/14/10. For an explanation, see my looooong tasting note about Mountain Malt from the Simple Leaf.

My favorites:
Chinese black teas
A good “milk and sugar” English style black
Earl Grey (classic, and in all variations!)
Vanilla teas (classic, and in all variations!)
Jasmine, Rose, Violet and other froofy, flowery teas!
An Occasional Oolong
Flavored Rooibos
Herbal Tisanes


Collingswood, NJ



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