197 Tasting Notes

92

Another of the lovely samples that Plum Deluxe sent me! Thanks!

This is a lovely Earl Grey. The rich but smooth bergamot, blended with flavorful vanilla leads to a wonderfully blended cup of EG Cream. It’s just so dang smooth. I love this! It’s kinda like a warm hug wrapping around my core and smooshing me. I wish I had the words to express this but I don’t. Smooth smooth smooth. And yet not overly subtle. The flavor is strong, yet kind and loving at the same time. So yummy.

Def recommend!

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Smooth, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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83

Wow, so this is the first of many lovely samples I received from derk!

There was no water temperature listed on the teabag, but the time was listed as 8-10 minutes. Seeing as how it is an herbal tea, I did 212F.

This tea has a lovely flavor. I taste strong cocoa, caramel, and cinnamon as well as an underlying sweetness. I can definitely taste the mushrooms, and I love it! I may have to find some of this for myself, it’s mighty tasty. And caffeine free too!

Overall very tasty. Thanks a bunch derk!

Flavors: Caramel, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 12 OZ / 354 ML

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43

Well, I wanted to try this, but I didn’t want to commit to a full box. Luckily I found sample packs of this at a local discount store. I want to draw attention to that- I bought this at a discount store. The date reads 8/20 but I still am not sure as to the quality of the K-Cup. It could be iffy. Then again, I bought coffee (gasp) K-Cups at the same time and they were remarkably good, so there’s that.

As far as the quality of THIS K-Cup goes, I’m not sold. It tastes like tea dust. It’s very bitter and tannic, even with two Splenda’s added. The bergamot, if not artificial flavored, is forced. It just doesn’t flow as a tea. To be honest, it tastes similar to the loose-leaf Twinings Earl Grey, just less pleasant. I can’t say I’d recommend this at all. Seriously, if you are going to make tea, at the very least commit to a teabag. I have found K-Cups to be abysmal for non-instant tea. Those chai lattes are still tasty, but anything other than those seem to be just bad.

I’ll continue to experiment, but don’t hold out much hope for a tasty “T-Cup”

Flavors: Bitter, Dust, Tannic

Preparation
12 OZ / 354 ML
Angrboda

Ah yes this. I have some fond memories of this. Granted it tastes awful, but I had it on my wedding day, so… :) <3

Mastress Alita

My issue is that the water from a Keurig always tastes a bit like coffee, no matter what the “tea” K-cup is in it. Or even if I stick a cup with a teabag under it. That’s why I stopped using our Keurig at work for tea altogether.

Angrboda

That was our impression as well.But it would, really. Whether your make tea or coffee, so far as I can tell, it comes out of the same spout or a spout very physically close to it, so it would get contaminated. Bit like if you put tea in a thermos always used for tea, but then put the lid from a thermos used for coffee on it.

Shanie O Maniac

Yeah, I noticed this too. These days, the only tea I make from my Keurig is those Chai Latte K-Cups. I’ve got a couple of types of those but I’ve found that the cross-contamination doesn’t affect them too too much. They still taste like Chai.

Any actual tea I make is via bag or basket now. I’m done experimenting with the Keurig. Save it for coffee. (It does make really good coffee. Not bad for 20 bucks at Wally World)

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84

So Plum Deluxe sent me some samples to review! How nice of them!

This was just a mini sample, and unfortunately contained less than I usually use to leaf my earl greys. I tend to do 1.5 tsp for my 12 oz mugs. This was only 1 tsp. So naturally, it’s going to be a bit weak. That said, this has a lovely flavor. The strawberry and bergamot play well together, giving it a gentle berry/floral flavor. Luckily, it’s a natural flavor though and not artificial at all. That said, I’m not getting much of the straight orange flavor that I was expecting, or would have liked. (This supposedly contains orange as well as bergamot). But I love the strawberry. It’s very fruity. I would recommend adding a touch of sweetener to this, as it really makes the strawberry POP. I will likely order some of this if I ever make a full order from Plum Deluxe. I really want to.

Good stuff. Solid B.

Flavors: Bergamot, Floral, Strawberry

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Martin Bednář

That sounds like a decent EG with berries

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So I’ve wanted to try this for a while now. I kept putting it in Adagio carts but never pulling the trigger.

So finally I have it.

Naturally, I added a couple splenda’s to this. It’s supposed to be butterbeer, after all! Sadly, it tastes almost exactly like the Adagio butterscotch tea. Like, spot on for that other blend. I almost want to brew up both side by side and compare. And it’s weird because the butterscotch tea is just that – butterscotch tea. This one is caramel, cream, and vanilla tea. But then I suppose that’s more or less the flavor profile breakdown of butterscotch, isn’t it?

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is tasty. I almost want to try it as a latte. But for as hyped up as this was in my mind, for it to be this one-note is a bit of a letdown. If I wanted straight butterscotch tea, I’d buy that instead.

The tin is stylish though.

Flavors: Butterscotch

Preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

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73

I couldn’t remember if I had reviewed this, and when I saw I did, i reread my tasting note. It basically boils down to “I lost it, I found it, I drank it, it was too mild for my liking.”

Well, surprise surprise, that is almost exactly what happened a second time. I did lose it again, and I did re-discover it, and of course I tried it again. However, maybe it’s the refining of my palate in the past year but despite brewing this the exact same way as last time, and the tea being a year older, I like it much more. It’s still a very mild tea, but I appreciate it far greater than before. The same profile is present. Vegetal, fruity, a touch floral, lingering sweetness. However, it’s no longer “too weak” for me. Instead, I find myself enjoying the subtleties of it. The flavors blend pretty nicely and for a good-night cuppa before bed, it hits the spot.

So upping my rating on this. I really think a year ago, when I started my tea journey, I simply couldn’t appreciate a tea that didn’t smash you in the face with flavor. I still tend to go for those face smashers, but I have much more range these days.

Flavors: Fruity, Peach, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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79

This was a free sample that came with my Adagio order.

Anyway, I am loving the maple flavor on this. It tastes like a good strong maple syrup. Mind you, I added a single Splenda to it, but I did so because I felt it might help bring out the maple flavor. It did. It’s a maple syrup flavor with a hint of creaminess. There’s also a touch of cinnamon, and that is what lingers on after the sip. I don’t mind the cinnamon, but it is a bit weird. I don’t usually associate cinnamon with maple.

It’s pretty good. Not great, but good. I’d say B -

Flavors: Cinnamon, Cream, Maple, Maple Syrup

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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47

Attempt #2.

It’s better than the Raspberry Chamomile by far. This one is actually drinkable. But it isn’t remotely good. Certainly not great. I don’t usually mind fake peach flavoring, and hibi is ok in small quantities. But perhaps it’s because those two things are combined here that it isn’t the best? I know it claims there are no artificial flavorings here, but I call bupkiss. This still has a strong artificial taste to it. If I squint hard enough, and swallow quickly, it’s almost enjoyable. Almost.

Overall, it’s much much better than the last one, but still not good. Pretty below average, actually. Can’t recommend.

Flavors: Artificial, Hibiscus, Peach

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5

So I decided to try out a handful of various Pure Leaf iced tea blends. This was the first I tried.

And sweet mother of tea that’s WRETCHED!

No really, the overpowering, fake raspberry is so strong, I can’t imagine how anyone could drink this. I love me some good chamomile, but anything resembling it is drowned in cheap perfume. I took two sips and threw out the rest of the bottle.

Worst bottled tea I’ve ever had. Blech.

Flavors: Artificial, Perfume

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Profile

Bio

HELLO! My name is Shanie and I love tea!

While I have always loved various types of tea, for a very long time it came exclusively from a grocery store. It’s only been a year or so now that I’ve gotten into loose leaf. As such, there will likely be tasting notes I do for bagged tea as well as good quality (and not so good quality) loose leaf teas. I’m still learning as I go so have patience please!

Right now, I am on a massive Earl Grey kick. So if a ton of my notes are just various varieties of EG, that’s why!

Some of my favorite flavors include: Cocoa, Malt, Bread, Honey, Earthy, Sweet Citrus, Caramel, Apple, Spices, and Cinnamon.

Some flavors I don’t like: Licorice, Coconut, Bitey Citrus (like Citric Acid), Licorice, Sour, Smoke, Overpowering Fake Vanilla, Stevia, and did I mention Licorice?

NOTE: I am Type 2 Diabetic. As such, I can really not have sugar added to tea without suffering problems. This prohibits me from using either plain sugar or honey. Instead, I use Splenda as I found my system can handle it well and I like the flavor. I try to avoid stevia as I’ve found it often ruins the flavor of tea. However, not all teas require sweetener, and some are better without. Because of this, if I add sweetener to a tea, I will mention it in the tasting note and say what kind and how much. Usually, I sweeten flavored and herbal teas but leave true teas unsweetened. There are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb to go by.

Almost all of the tea I brew is western style. I occasionally do grandpa, but pretty much never Gong-fu. I do own a Gaiwan, but it never gets used. Considering I don’t have a “sip setting” when it comes to beverages, it’s really hard for me to get into any sized amount less than 8oz at a time. I know that probably makes me a tea-heathen, but so be it. I like my mugs.

I have decided to try and make a scale for my ratings. So here goes.

As of January 2020.

100-91: These are my go-to favorites. I will likely go out of my way to always keep these on hand, including going on third party websites to obtain out of season.
90-81: This is a tea I really did enjoy, and I will likely purchase again. However, I wouldn’t go to the ends of the earth for it, and it isn’t my all-time favorite.
80-71 This is a tea that, while I may have somewhat enjoyed, something is holding me back from making it a mainstay. Maybe the flavor profile isn’t the best. Maybe there is an offputting aftertaste. It varies. But while I did like it and will continue to drink it, I don’t absolutely need it in my life, and while I will likely finish what I have, I may or may not get more.
70-61: This is a tea which I drank, but I didn’t like it. However, I didn’t hate it either. It wasn’t bad enough to dump, and if it is the only thing available to drink, I would likely drink it instead of plain water. But in the end, this is just not my literal cup of tea and I will likely not get this again.
60-51: This is something that I didn’t like much at all, but for one reason or another, refused to dump. If I squint hard enough and use my imagination, I can almost BS myself into thinking they are decent, and I suppose I can choke it down and not waste it. These are teas that I will not be buying again, and may not even finish what I have.
50-41: Yeah, whatever this is, I there’s a good chance I dumped it. At this level, it’s pretty bad stuff with either weak flavor, nasty flavor, or all the wrong flavors, It has few redeeming qualities, and I likely won’t reach for this one again. On the bright side, it isn’t sewage water, so there’s that.
40-31. On it’s best day this tea has no redeeming qualities. This not only got dumped but the package it came in either got thrown away, traded, or shoved to the back of the cupboard to never be touched again. Not the worst thing I’ve ever tasted, but darn sure close.
30-Under: The worst thing I’ve ever tasted. This not only has no redeeming qualities, but it is gag-inducing. “Teas” in this range are so bad I not only will never drink them again, I really don’t feel like offloading them onto anyone else because they are just that bad. Actual sewage water.

Location

Pennsylvania, US

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