304 Tasting Notes


The steeped tea smells lightly, not a strong scent here. It has a slight berry scent to it and a bit of the nutty associated with Oolongs. It’s a delicate fragrance.

The flavor is light, has a hay or nutty taste, a mild maltyness in the back of the mouth. Maybe a vegetal edge along the sides of the tongue. It’s also a touch floral. As it cools there are a lot of different aspects that come out.

It tastes like it’s somewhere between a black and oolong, really. It has a bit of both to it and not quite completely either.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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As the cup cools more of the “tropical” flavor comes out and fills the mouth. Now it’s noticeably different from a straight green tea. That top-of-mouth floral and citrus is much stronger and rounder, filling. I can’t quite place what food it reminds me of, darnit.

Much better now, it’s one best drank semi-cool.

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The dry tea has a somewhat off-putting smell, but I can’t place it.

I followed the package directions on this and use 1tsbp to 12oz of water, but didn’t boil the water. I just used 180 degree-ish water when it said to boil. Oops.

The steeped tea has that off-putting scent, too. It’s kind of a citrusy, floral thing mixed with the green tea.

The taste is mostly just green tea. It has a greener, more citrusy feeling (not truly flavor) as an after-taste that settles around the roof of the mouth. Maybe a little sweetness in there.

It’s okay. Not enough different from plain green tea to bother with as a purchase, but not bad and I’ll either trade off or drink the rest of the sample.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Very Berry by Utopia Tea
304 tasting notes

The unsteeped tea fits its name: rich berry flavor. It is a mix of purples that looked dried-juicy… you know, when dried fruit retains a bit of juiciness and isn’t completely dried out.

The scent is, likewise, describable as juicy. It’s rich, full, and strong of purple berries, especially blackcurrant. It smells delicious.

The instructions say 2 tbsp to 12oz of water, I thought it only said 1 so that’s how I made it.

I can’t imagine how strong it would be at 2 tbsp. The flavor is very strong berry, not at all watery or weak. It’s sweet in the way that fresh or dried berries are, not in a sugar or honey sweet. It’s true to it’s name.

Blackcurrant is the strongest flavor, just like the smell, but the other berries mix and add a full round flavor. It wraps around the sides of the tongue, off of the center. There’s a faint tartness that completes the taste and make for a tiny bit of mouth pucker.

I like this one and will probably be experimenting with ice tea/sweet-tea and cold-brews. I’m not big on fruit, flavored or herb teas but this is a winner. I can see myself buying some of this after the sample is done.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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On a second steep, the jasmine flavor is too overwhelming. It’s unpleasantly strong and I’m not finishing the cup.

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The scent is very much jasmine, very pretty.

The flavor is very jasmine-floral, fills most of the mouth -all except the back of the tongue and throat. The jasmine overwhelms the green tea quite a bit and the tea is quite astringent.

Is not unpleasantly jasmine, like some I’ve had, but it is mostly a jasmine flavor. However, with a bit of food it was quite refreshing. So I would say that this is not a sit-and-sip tea, but rather an eat-and-drink tea.

I prefer sit-and-sips so I’ll not be buying more after this sample is up.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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The steeped scent is very much a mix of chamomile and vanilla. It’s not cloying; it’s well balanced in smell. Smells darn good, actually.

The flavor is very vanilla with chamomile as the backbone of the tisane. It’s not a sweet vanilla, it’s unsweet vanilla. Just the natural flavor itself.

I’m finding I’m truly not one for herbal or fruity teas, flavored teas or tisanes… but this is another I’d give a thumbs-up on for those that are into them.

I need a few more cups to make a real opinion for myself, as seems to be the case with these fruities and herbies… but so far I like it but wouldn’t buy it (I got it as part of a sample pack).

It would probably be good for a before-bed drink, with the restful qualities of chamomile and the pleasant vanilla mixed in. If nothing else, get a sample of it; it’s worthwhile.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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I can’t believe there are no ratings for this by me. This is my favorite Assam in my cupboard and the one I drink most often.

Normally I have it hot and it’s wonderful.

Today I’m reporting on the experiment of cold-brewing it.

Just like when hot it’s excellent. But very different.

It’s not at all bitter from a longer-than-expected brew time (I forgot about it, it’s been in the fridge about 20 hrs).

It’s sweeter than hot-brewed. Very floral tasting and feeling through the roof of the mouth with a sweet honey-ness in the back of the mouth and throat when swallowed. The finish is dark under the tongue and a light feeling at the roof of the mouth. The flavor is complex but refreshing, at the same time. I can’t fully describe it. -But I definitely can recommend it.

I’m running low on this and it’s delicious both hot and cold; I’ll have to buy some more!

Iced 8 min or more

Wow! That sounds really good iced! I usually just brew double-strength and pour over ice (so I can still get some caffiene), but I’m starting to like the subtle flavors and sweetness you can get from a cold-brew. Good stuff!

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The steeped tea smells a bit like wine, but a bit more like raisins.

The taste is black tea and a overlay of a wine-y taste. The tip of the tongue has a slight sweetness but most of the wine taste is in the back of the mouth. It’s not a strong wine taste, but not too weak.

Not a buy-again, but not bad.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Tried this at twice as much tea and a minute longer steeping time. Still just a weak top-of-mouth sweetness and a little darkness in the back of the mouth. No “buttered rum” flavor, mostly just watery-tea taste.

This isn’t for me.

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

have you tried it with a bit of milk and brown sugar? I’m a straight up tea girl myself, and I felt it was watery and blah when I first had it as well, until I put some cream/sugar in it. Wow. It really transformed this tea into something else, I think it must be meant as a creamy dessert tea. if you have any left or feel the need to try to again, i would give that a try! Even a bit of soy milk and agave would take it over the top I bet!

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I live as a nomad now and my cupboard is no longer huge, it goes from bare to maybe 3 or 4 at a time – whatever I can easily carry in my rucksack. But am ordering samples from places so I can keep trying new stuff or more easily carry a variety for my moods that’ll fit!

Note to those who read my reviews:

I only about a year ago learned I have synesthesia and that is why I’ve always wrote my reviews primarily in colors. Clearly, if you’ve read any recently, that’s still how I write most of the time as that’s still how I best describe flavors. Today I realized that may be worth putting out there for folks who come across my reviews.
Moving on:

Unless otherwise noted, I use 2.25g of tea to 6oz of water for my tastings.

Geeky, vegan, dominant, serious, non-gendered, childfree, eclectic, alternatively-styled, friendly and open-minded are good descriptors of me, I think. Also: extremely introverted, but not at all shy.

I grew up on bag teas, mainly Lipton, at my father’s and great-grandmother’s homes. I loved getting up before everyone else and sitting with a hot cup and reading or watching some quiet tv in the morning.

I didn’t bother much with tea for the years of my teenhood because of no longer seeing either of these people and my mother’s house wasn’t one for tea… more coffee drinkers, instead.

During my adulthood I started drinking it again, but still mostly bag teas like Lipton, Tetley, and some herbal mixes. I enjoyed these but went no further…

…until I was at a restaurant one night and ordered a Darjeeling tea to give it a try.

I fell back in love with tea and have since been trying all sorts of loose leaf and some bag teas.

I’m currently delving mainly into white teas, but my tastes wander.

Not sure what else to say here… if you like my notes or are interested in chatting about something, do feel free to send a note. I love meeting new folks, especially since we share at least one interest, being on this site and all.


SE Asia, at the moment Bangkok



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