370 Tasting Notes

70

Okay, so my tin is many-many years old (maybe 8?), so that may be the reason that I’m dropping my rating. It’s nice, and makes a decent iced tea, believe-it-or-not. But it no longer rates a teagasm in my book. What ultimately tips the scale is that I recall this tea being quite expensive, and it’s not worth the price. If you want to have a wonderful smoky tea, then try Upton Tea Import’s Black Dragon, or Oliver Pluff & Co’s Colonial Bohea. NE

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Shae

Saving these to my wishlist. I love smoky teas!

Rabs

Oh my gosh, Shae – you will LOVE the Upton Black Dragon. It’s not overly smoky, but I’ve had coworkers who are like “wait, are you eating bacon?” when I’ve steeped it there. Heh.

Shae

That sounds amazing!

ashmanra

I second Black Dragon, and also Lapsang Crocodile from Dammann Freres or the same name from The O Dor are AWESOME. I also really like Russian Caravan from Grace Tea Company. It is a shelf staple.

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100

This is still my favoritest-favorite black tea. I’m finally drinking it quasi-regularly in the morning – and not being such a dragon-like tea hoarder. Life’s too short to skimp on tea.

With my newly filtered water, and cutting out sugars in my diet, the sweetness of this tea almost sings from the very first cup (and gets progressively sweeter the number of steeps I have, with three being the peak). TG

Preparation
4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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95

Hi, y’all! I’m back-ish! I’m adding the “ish” there since I don’t trust myself to be consistent, but we’ll see.

I had a tea revelation over the past month or so, when I bought a Berkey water filter system. I ashamed to admit that for over a year I’ve been drinking/making tea with tap water. And before that I used a Pur water filter system. To keep this short: Berkey kicks Pur’s butt. Using this super-filtered water (with the fluoride filters), has given my tea new depths of flavor, all the while not leaving as thick a residue on my mugs.

So, I had a tin of A&D’s Holiday Blend from…almost a decade ago?! Probably 7-8 years old. It had never really impressed me. But now, all the harsh notes are gone, and it is a pure delight to drink. I shall miss it when my tin is empty.

And to try and be on here more often, while the inspiration of cleaner water strikes, I am trying to do a sip-down of any remaining tea I’ve stashed away (I’ve moved at least twice since last I wrote here). PLUS I’ve been purchasing more tisanes to experiment with for my evening tea, and I’ve found some really good ones.

I hope all has been well, and that you all have had happy holidays! TG

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
ashmanra

I enjoy my Berkey! Good to see you back here, and hope you will hang around a bit! :)

Rabs

Thank you so much! I’m really trying to focus on my health, and part of that’s mental health. And this site has some wonderful people talking about one of my favorite healthy treats. :)

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100

I’m not regularly reviewing tea here because I’ve narrowed down my daily teas to two, and I haven’t been trying new ones. So, when I find a tea that is “teagasm” to the max, I have to share.

I’ve changed my eating habits over the past few months and have become a vegan who intermittently fasts (i.e. I eat twice-a-day). So tea has become very important to me during the fasting times. I realized that I wanted a nice caffeine free tea to treat myself with once I get home from my job. I also knew I wanted to try and find a blend with honeybush.

Enter google! I hadn’t heard of Plum Deluxe before, and after looking at their offerings, I ordered two honeybush blends (I’ll try the Vistas blend tonight). After I’d placed my order, I received a nice email from the owner which was a really unexpectedly sweet touch.

When the teas arrived yesterday, I opened the package and was like “WHOA THAT’S FRUITY LISCIOUS!” The two teas’ fragrances combined smelled like a really fruity bubblegum.

I steeped up a whole set of water bottles (I now steep bigger quantities to fill BPA-free water bottles and store them in the fridge for iced tea throughout the day), and tried one bottle before bed. I didn’t mean to drink the whole thing (getting up to use the bathroom at night sucks), but I did AND I’D DO IT AGAIN.

The apricot is the star in this blend, and I never thought I cared for apricot that much. But this blend is freaking deliciously Foo-Foo. Like, it’s a dream Foo-Foo-Fruity tea that I’d want to drink while riding a sparkly unicorn. It’s more forgiving in terms of steeping temperature/time than my previous “Queen of the Foo-Foo Teas” Rosy Earl Grey from Teas Etc.

All this is to say that I’ll be drinking this tea every freaking night that I can as it will have a permanent place in my cupboard. TG

Flavors: Apricot, Fruity

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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95

My favorite “treat” tea is Upton Tea Import’s Lapsan Souchong Black Dragon. But I always felt like it wasn’t a “daily tea.” This much more mellow yet still smoky tea is perfect for me: it has the smoke to begin with, it remains flavorful throughout my entire day, and ends on a gently sweet note.

Two things to note: I fill my filter almost 2/3 full to make it through the day. I noticed that when I added more leafs, I gained more end sweetness. It could just be my crazy taste buds. ALSO this may be the absolute perfect daily tea because it handles oversteeping like a pro. I tend to forget my tea’s steeping at work. Leaving it steeping for up to a half hour is more common than not. It still tastes awesome and not bitter. Yay!

Preparation
5 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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90

Remember when I said that I needed to stop hoarding my teas? I realized this morning that I hadn’t even OPENED my tin of this tea. I’m guessing that my original review was based on a sample from a generous Steepsterite – so I trust that rating. I feel that I can’t properly review this tea since it’s ::mumblemumble:: years old. But I’m relieved to say that it’s still tasty – I just have a feeling that it’s not as “bright” as it was when I first received the tin.

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85

Finally digging into my Andrews & Dunham stash. Again, trying to anti-gollum my teas. It pairs well with the “french toast” overnight oats I’m having for breakfast. I’ve never had overnight oats before…and I think I like it? Like oatmeal, I struggle with the texture though it tasted good. The tea seems perkier with the sweetness that was left in my mouth from the oats (there’s banana, vanilla, maple syrup, and cinnamon in it). I look forward to several more steeps. NE

MrQuackers

Oveenight oats are the best. You can toss in raisins or dried fruit too of you like. There’s always the microwave if you want warm cereal.

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79
drank Honeybush Mango by Adagio Teas
370 tasting notes

Had several cups of this last night. It’s definitely one of my favorite evening teas. Pleasant taste and aroma. NE

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100

I’m back to drinking tea on a regular basis: yay!

I went immediately for one of my all-time faves to mark the occasion (hint: it’s this one). And my cat immediately came up to try and get some for himself (jerk).

Even being a few years old (eep!) it still is smoky-tasty to me. Huzzah! But it’s definitely not as good as a fresh tin.

But with my renewed tea-drinking (and shunning of diet sodas), I have made myself a promise: I shall no longer hoard my favorite or limited-edition teas. I need to drink them uninhibitedly. So drink I shall! NE

MrQuackers

Believe it or not, I was looking at this tea the other day. I let my cat sniff at my tea, because his nose is better than mine. Looking forward to trying some of their other teas as well.

Rabs

Cats do have good taste in general :)
I had actually turned my back on my tea while it steeped, and my kitty had come up and decided to help himself to the liquid the strainer leaves on my saucer.

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40
drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
370 tasting notes

Nope. And I’ll give this the benefit of doubt in that it’s another older sample. BUT. I’ve noticed in quite a few flavored teas that have an almost “rubbing alcohol” taste to them. I don’t know what the deal is, but I guess it’s part of the process of adding some flavors. If a tea has it in it, then it’s very hard for me to ignore. It’s one of the reasons I’ve moved away from the more “flavorful” and creative tea blends. That aroma just spoiled this tea for me. M

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Profile

Bio

Proud all-around nerd, designer, fibromyalgia manager, and Assistant Library Director/Creative Director.

After being a barista for almost a decade it wasn’t until 2010 that I discovered loose leaf tea. Now I’m hooked.

I’m quite loose when it comes to tea prep. I also ended up using Steepster to find my “daily” teas which I mostly have accomplished.

There’s really nothing remarkable or noteworthy of how I rate teas. I do take it a tiny further step to help clarify the muddled middle grounds for myself. TG is a definite repurchase. Anything below that is less and less likely.

TG=Teagasm
NE=Nice Enough
M=Meh
GA=Gods-Awful

Location

Midwest, USA

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