170 Tasting Notes

drank Spicy Chai by Twinings
170 tasting notes

Not with milk this evening, as we do not have any at home. Unknown age tea bag, but it sill looks very good. Dry leaf aroma was gingerbread.
I am awake for longer time than I should. Just short naps in meantime. This is crazy. I wanted to sleep, but I was browsing the ´net instead. I feel super tired, but not sleepy.

Anyway. Tea time. Do not expect much.
Aroma went towards ginger, maybe bit of cinnamon. The colour of liquor is dark brown, opaque, with some dust on top.

It is still too hot! I want to drink it and feel asleep. While I wanted to take first sip, my brother who is sitting 2 metres away said “It smells wonderful”. Probably a good sign. It went bit colder now, bit drinkable. It tastes pretty strong, like assam tea, with sweetness of cinnamon and astringency by ginger. But 3-4 minutes will turn that tea bitter. I made again an half and it is just right. Why it reminds me now a milled poppy seed (I love it by the way)?

Anyway, I hope it won´t wake me up much and it is going to wam me inside a bit. Bit above average, I think I will try to make my own soon. I have that Ceylon tea, which is quite big package, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, all should be affordable. Cardamom, that sounds bit tough. Have you guys have experience with your own blends of chai?

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 250 ML

Making my own chai spice blend was really the only way to go. I made a big tin a few years ago of whole spices that I ground. Wish I could tell you what’s in besides loads of black pepper! You can find whole green cardamom pods and seed powder at Indian markets for much cheaper than at a supermarket. Black cardamom seeds can be used, too, but they impart a dark, resinous, smokey flavor versus the sweet green cardamom seeds.


I have made my own chai spices in the past because I did not care for lots of black pepper! Weird, I know, because most people love the black pepper in chai! I loved the cardamom and cinnamon most, with a little ginger and sometimes nutmeg.

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Another tea room Thursday. Well, I need to boost myself because of Thursday nights part-time job. This one was delivered day before I ordered it, so apparently really fresh! Let´s see.

Gaiwan, approx. 100-120 ml. I should ask. I don´t know how much leaves in, but it was quite a lot in my opinion. I have not counted steeps, but 1 liter thermos was gone. Each steep about 15-30 seconds.

Okay, now to the tea:
Aroma was storng orchid garden, floral, with little notes of smoke.
Colour of brew was light golden which was turning to darker and darker. Leaves went through the strainer of gaiwan. Not much of them though.
Taste was wonderful, floral, with little astrigency. But still smooth, mellow. Energy boosting.

I stayed awake till 6 am without any troubles with short, about few 15 minutes naps in bus back home. So apparently wake up call. The tea was wonderful, for great price / value ratio. I paid 108 CZK for whole thermos and I can make it as I wanted. Really, 20 seconds was average steep and I am surprised how bold it was.

Flavors: Floral, Orchid, Smoke

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 4 OZ / 110 ML

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Okay, sample no. 2; from yesterday received subscription.
I wanted something caffeine-free. It is already 8 pm. Argh!

Teaspoon and half, strainer, glass mug. The tea is mostly brown, fine rooibos with few yellow notes which are apparently sunflower petals. It smells woody with honey after"smell". Nothing fabulous. Let put that in strainer, hot water in and we will see.

I kept that in for about 5 minutes. Dark copper colour with quite lots of rooibos dust which went through mesh of strainer. Probably too crushed “tea”

Aroma is honey-ish, maybe bit malty. They say it should be like English Breakfast blend, but honestly I am not so sure. And woody – as rooibos usually is.

Now to the taste, indeed woody with honey aftertaste. It does not remind me English Breakfast at all. I would say it is just common rooibos blend with little of honey. Not a malty at all. Nor even some kind of black tea scents and flavours. Drinkable well, though.

Flavors: Honey, Wood

Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Hurray! A new subscription from Bird and Blend Tea company arrives! I was wondering what is in? I don´t reveal that to myself. Hmm, two rooibos blends and one green tea blend. Let´s start with green one.

A chinese sencha does not make me much happy. I prefer “orginal” – from Japan. Hibiscus, orange peel, red cornflowers – okay I guess. Yup, flavouring, they say a natural. We will see.

When I opened the sachet, a grapferuit arome struck my nose. And I was right in the summer! Really fresh scent combined with mouth flavouring aromas. I do not know what makes it but I am really salivate. Hehe.

Took a tea spoon and something to strainer, closed it, boiled water to about 80 °C as they suggest. The leaves are quite big, bit broke though. Big pieces of other stuff, as orange peel, cornflowers and hibiscus. Looks pretty nice.

I just added a water, expected it is going to be green! WRONG! It is turning red, apparently a raspberry red. Became quite dust, lots of small pieces went through the mesh. I don´t mind.

The aroma is unexpectly grapefruit, but bit like other red fruits, like raspberries, strawberries. Bit of mint I smell there ,but it should not be there. None of buttery notes they advertise.

In taste, it is mouth-filling citrus fruits, mostly, again, grapefruit. Slightly tart, as grapefruit is. Bit of green tea notes are in the background. Smooth.

I am puzzled. It tastes good, but no grapefruits there. It is green tea, which turns red. It is tart, but smooth. I can really imagine it iced, but it is just spring. Probably unexpecatbly high rating for this one, as I like it, but it is not really my cup as it is fruit blend. I would rather name it fruit-green blend.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 350 ML

It seems even a tiny amount of hibiscus wilk turn the tea red!

Martin Bednář

ashmanra: who knows how much is in, but yeah :) it seems


i was excited for this one because i really love grapefruit, but sad to read there was no grapefruit on the tongue. well, at least your nose got the grapefruit treat!

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Whoa, this tea is going to be MALTy! That was my first thought when I took the tea bag out from its foil prison. It is 7 pm, but no, I want a full-bodied black tea today. I had “just” fresh mint tea today.

I have found out it is blend of Irish Breakfast, Russian Caravan and Orange Pekoe. Yup, certainly all three are definition of malty teas. Strong, malty teas. I do not expect much but something strong. Liquor colour is dark brown, hardly to see bottom of the mug. And I steeped it for not even 2 minutes while they suggest 3 or 4. Izzy – they are probably wrong again :D On water level there is big puddle of oil. Or looks like that. Weird, but whatever.

Cuppa is small with my name – about 200 ml. Aroma is malty, bit smoky and jam. Weird combination. Bit of fruits there too! Actually quite pungent. Tastes pretty sweet – maybe I took it out just right time, with bitter aftertaste. Malty as well. But the taste does not linger for long. Like it is there, gulp, and it is gone.

It is light, but full-bodied tea. Bit better than expected. Certainly worth trying.

Boiling 2 min, 15 sec 7 OZ / 200 ML

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I wonder where I get this one. I had hoard of tea, both tea and tea bags from different swaps, tags, I dunno what else. Maybe it was from Australia? If so, then it had really long trip.

They suggest 1-3 minutes steep with freshly boiled water and that was what I actually did. Dry tea bag smelled very fragrant of mango and exotic fruits. That sounds good. In the mug it goes! After about two minutes steep I was scared I have oversteeped it. It turned out quite dark and quite opaque. It was like some used motor oil, or, in terms of tea – shu pu-erh. Interesting!

In aromas it was stil lvery similar – I think I smelled quite nice fresh fruits, mostly exotic as mango is. In backgroud it was strong and bit bitter black tea base.

In taste it was certainly a black tea, little biting and bitter; but still as well fresh due to fruit flavours. Certainly it was not oversteeped, I think it was just right. Good afternoon choice.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 10 OZ / 300 ML

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Another cup of this one. Apparently it is a while when I had it last time. I have not slept well, so green tea sounded quite good for me. I feel so weird recently, I hope it will be much better ASAP. I am already tired of that.

Anyway to the tea, I took a mug, added some leaves in, filled with +- 80 degrees water and sipping. Today it turned out quite vegetal, with hay notes. Also remained very smooth and without bitterness. Maybe bit of spinach.
I did not cared about colour and aromas this time.

Nice tea which made me feel bit better this morning.

Flavors: Hay, Smooth, Spinach, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 12 OZ / 350 ML

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Finally I had time for a more complex tea than some tea bags.
I sample from Derk and I really like it.

Preheated gaiwan, 3 grams of tea.
Oh, right after first notes started to appear! Mineral as well spicy, grapes, other stone fruits. Hmm, very, very interesting.

No rinse; too lazy to do it. I did not even had some precious time managment, just brewing as I like it. Once it was 30 seconds, then 90 seconds. I don´t care :D I was just preparing it somehow.

Tastes? Oh, so many. Red grapes probably most, but there are mineral notes, pine, forest floor, kinda woody, come on? It is so complex as well very velvety, smooth, cooling down a bit I guess. It is so good! Really! Maybe I feel bit nostalgic, as I also noticed antique shop aromas and as well a old books. Really fancy tea!

Derk, why you have not send me more? I would love to try it in different ways too! But of course it is bit ironic; it is lovely tea and really thank you for this sample.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 85 ML

Lol, I know, I know. It was the last of my bag!

Martin Bednář

It is nice that I had chance to try it


Glad you liked it, Martin. It’s my favorite black tea.

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drank Calm by Tazo
170 tasting notes

I did pretty bad work yesterday; so something to calm my nerves a bit I guess. More over I am so sleepy that I don´t know if I can finish this mug.

Anyway, apparently another chamomile blend. Maybe in the end I will like it. Spearmint, blackberrry leaves, peppermint. That sounds good. Had to google what is safflower. Probably something for colour. Lemon balm – nice!

The brew is orange-brown. Kinda clear with bit of dust on bottom. In aroma it is herbs (no surprise)

In taste, it is quite good, I can think about anything distinctive though. Quite sweet. It is not bad, but makes me sleepy. It is probably quite working.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec
Martin Bednář

I had a nap for about a hour after the tea.

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Another thermos tea.
Honestly I do not find anything distinctive – cheap green tea with lemon notes. Simple as that. The dry tea bag had quite strong lemon flavour which kind of dissapeared while brewed.

The tea tasted good though, easy going, simple tea. No funky notes. Nothing extra.
Everyday tea.

Flavors: Hay, Lemon


Hay? yuck,.

Martin Bednář

haptiK – hay is not always yuck :) It is just bit boring :)


i will have to take your word on that :)

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I am drinking almost everything. Tea bag collector who moved to wonderful world of loose leaf.


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