200 Tasting Notes

drank 40 Winks by Adagio Teas
200 tasting notes

Well what do you know? My first added tea!
40 Winks wasn’t anywhere on the site so I had to add it. Believe me I looked. Nowhere to be found. Anyway this is one of Adagio’s wellness blends. It’s supposed to promote sleep. We shall see…
Upon cracking the package, I get a strong pungent aroma. I’m guessing that’s the valerian root. It’s listed as the first ingredient so it must be prevalent. I’m also getting an aroma of chamomile and mint, which are also both ingredients. So onto steeping.
Western Style, 212F, 5Min.
Upon drinking the first thing I notice is that the pungent valerian aroma doesn’t fully translate over. It’s definitely there, but the tea is still palatable. There’s a slight tingling sensation in the mouth that I suppose would be the mint? I can totally taste the chamomile as well. Grassy notes are apparent as well. They become more and more noticeable as tea cools. Surprisingly no sweetener is needed in this one, although some people may wish to put a bit of honey in it for medicinal value. I can’t really have honey anymore so I am grateful it does not need any sweetener to drink. I don’t know if this will put me to sleep or not (I have weird sleep patterns) but it is certainly soothing. I would totally recommend this for a last-cup-of-the-night kind of tea. It’s flavor is nothing to write home about, but it’s not horrible and who knows maybe it will help you sleep.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Licorice, Mint

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Shanie O Maniac

Update: The first cup of this did nothing to help me sleep. However I no sooner finished the resteep second cup than I felt like I was hit by a truck. The sedation effect was that sudden. My friend has nicknamed this tea “80 Winks” as not only does it take two cups to work on me, but after it did put me under, I slept for almost 14 hours! Going to try again tonight. Will keep informed.

Mastress Alita

Valerian Root always does the trick for me. I have a tea with valerian root in it (one that isn’t chamomile heavy since I don’t like the taste of chamomile), and I also just keep a bottle of valerian root in capsules to help with difficult nights.

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drank Tiger Eye by Adagio Teas
200 tasting notes

So this is a supposed desert tea I was really looking forward to. They say it has chocolate and caramel flavorings along with black tea. So we shall see.
Brewed western style as usual, 212F, 3min.
My first thought about drinking this is “I thought this was supposed to be sweet???”. The natural flavor of this tea is quite bitter, like dark dark cacoa and caramel that has no natural sweetness to it. That second part is weird to me because I always thought Caramel was basically cooked sugar. So no, this tea is really kinda bad in its natural state.

You know what that means… LATTE TIME.

So after adding the almond milk and two splendas, the darkest cacoa and bitter caramel flavors suddenly turned into “Candy bar”. Frankly that’s what I wanted in the first place, as this is supposed to be a dessert tea. I drank two steeps worth of this in latte form and have decided that, if you can stand making a sweetened latte, go for it. But once again, I find that so many Adagio teas just do NOT taste right unless you add either milk or sweetener to them. I really wish they could get their act together on their flavored blends because the potential is there. They just keep falling flat.

Flavors: Bitter, Caramel, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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So this is my first experience with any type of Wuyi. Smells good in bag, lets see how it tastes. Western prep, 3min at 195F.

Totally getting that famous mineral flavor, followed by a mild earthy and strangely peppery? flavor. I don’t know what that flavor is. It reminds me of black pepper, but there’s no pepper recorded on any previous tasting notes. It’s bitey in my mouth and leaves it tingling. About a minute or two after sipping, the remaining after flavor changes to and stays as a massive grape flavor. I have no idea where or how that happened, but suddenly my mouth is full of grapes. As it’s cooling I’m getting a mild wood flavor, but still plenty of that rock taste. Overall I do like this. It’s not my all time favorite, but it is a totally acceptable tea. I would gladly drink this again.

Flavors: Earth, Grapes, Mineral, Peppercorn, Wood

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Well, durning funeral trip, I discovered I like citrus green. This is one of my attempts to find the perfect green tea with citrus.
Sadly, this isn’t it. Maybe I just didn’t steep long enough. I went for 2 minutes with 180F water. The flavor isn’t as strong as I would like. It’s a mild citrus green and I like a very flavorful one. The perfect citrus green would be strong but not overwhelming. This is way too mild for my tastes. It does have a good citrus green flavor. I can taste the orange zest and the slight vegetal of the green. It just isn’t as pronounced a flavor as I like.

Flavors: Citrus, Orange Zest, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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After the Lapsang debacle, I needed something to cleanse my palate. So Skele-grow it is. I bought this because they claimed it tasted like candy. Made western style at 212F for 4 minutes (recommended instructions). First sip was okay. It was definitely minty but more dark chocolate, which I am not so much a fan of. So I tried it with two splendas and a bit of almond milk. Wow! What a difference! It IS like drinking candy. Very sweet minty chocolate candy mind you, which may not be for everyone. But still tastes like an Andes Candy. This may be one of my new favorite dessert teas. It’s very lovely. If you want to try a tea that tastes like mint chocolate candy, go for this one. But just remember you need to add sweetener to it to get the most from this blend.

Flavors: Chocolate, Mint

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Oh wow. This was a free sample from Adagio Teas. They basically said if I like golden monkey I would like this.

Boy were they wrong.

It’s a very complex cup, I’ll give them that. Woodsy, Smokey, Mushrooms, Earthy… But that smoked flavor and I are not getting along. Between that and the heavy mushroom flavor it’s like drinking burnt portabella mushrooms. This is getting dumped. Sorry Adagio.

Flavors: Burnt, Dark Wood, Mushrooms, Smoke, Wet Earth

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec
Mastress Alita

This is a migraine trigger for me. I can’t handle that strong smoky aroma wafting from my cup since the natural forest fires do my head in every year. Not to mention I just don’t like heavy smoke notes in tea either. If they are subtle and complimentary I’m usually fine, but I have a limit.

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This tea was recommended to my by the TeaFriends Chatroom folk. So I went out and got some. Smell upon first steep is very reminiscent of fresh buttered popcorn. Not the fake movie theater kind, but good homemade buttered popcorn. Flavor is… Indescribable. This is heaven in a cup. I am getting cream, I am getting butter, I am getting nutty. As it cools I’m starting to get ever so slight floral, but nothing too strong. And this is just the first 40 second steep! This is almost my new favorite tea. It’s just maybe one point less than the Golden Monkey, but definitely going in my top 3. I hate that this is so pricey but I will 100% be re-ordering this. Like I said. Heaven in a cup.

Flavors: Butter, Cream, Floral, Nutty

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec

I love love love Mandala’s milk oolong. My 3 top milk oolongs are Mandala, Theodor and TeaVivre (non-flavored one). All so good, and differences among them. I always keep these 3 in stock.

Mastress Alita

Milk Oolongs are a personal favorite of mine, as well!


Mastress Alita, good to know, I’m going to send you some :D

Mastress Alita

@Kawaii433: I really have next to no space for tea at the moment, though. T_T I’m on a huge ordering lockdown/sipdown goal for 2019.


Mastress Alita: What if I told you it’s the Theodor Milky Oolong? :P

Mastress Alita

@Kawaii433: Unfortunately that still wouldn’t magically create space in my tiny one-room apartment which is at maximum tea-capacity. It has taken weeks of dedicated tea-drinking to make room for that ONE Lupicia tea before the California shops close. T_T Until I am able to sipdown/make space, no matter how sweet and good intentioned, I just don’t have any place to put tea-gifts at the moment.


Mastress Alita: Ok :). I’m sure I’ll have plenty later for you when you’re ready. <3

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Another black tea for meeee!

This is my first NON-Adagio Loose Leaf I believe. I’m starting to expand my horizons. This one smells delightful. A bread like woodsy scent. Flavor is similar. I’m getting bread and honey with definite malt and chocolate tones as well. It’s a complex cup and thoroughly enjoyable. It’s almost, how should I put this, like a dark chocolate sandwich? That description is both completely wrong and yet somehow right. Also getting some woodsy notes to it as it cools. All in all a very enjoyable cuppa and I’m glad I ordered a decent amount of this. It’s not quite as yummy as my Golden Monkey, but a comparable and delicious cup nonetheless.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Cocoa, Honey, Malt, Wood

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec
Mastress Alita

Mmm, sounds delicious!

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drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
200 tasting notes

OKAY! New Rule. All chai teas will be reviewed using the same prep method- With Almond Milk and two splendas. That being said, time for the review.
WOW! This is certainly a… DIFFERENT tea. I don’t think I have ever had tea with coconut in it before and it shows. I really don’t know if I like this at all or not. The Coconut is pinging in my mouth along with the chai spice and it is really a weird combo. It’s almost like combining sweet with spice and getting sour. I don’t what to do with this. It is kinda tasty, but just really too odd a flavor combo for me. The flavor is very strong even with the almond milk and sweetener. Nope, don’t think I can recommend this one. It’s different in a bad way.

Flavors: Coconut, Spices

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Does the dry leaf have a “sour” or “off” smell, or any of the dry coconut slivers taste funny if you lick/nibble one, by chance? Dried coconut is the one ingredient notorious for going bad quickly in tea, with a shelf life of around 4-6 months, and I’m not so sure how long Adagio’s teas sit around in warehouses before they ship it. I know when I’ve had bad coconut in teas it had a sour/acrid taste. Since you described a sour taste in your cup it just makes me wonder. I know I had a fandom blend mixed with their Thai Chai that had the coconut in it go bad.

Shanie O Maniac

Nope. I both smelled and tasted it. It does not seem to be that. I think what I’m tasting is the lemongrass. I noticed that there was a ton of green strands in it which I believe is the lemongrass, so that would explain the weird flavor I was getting. I’m not use to mixing sweet/zest/spice. It’s not that it is rancid, or bad so to speak. It’s just a flavor combination I’m not used to. I drank two cups of it and didn’t get sick either so I really think it will be ok.

Mastress Alita

Drinking bad coconut in a tea has never made me physically ill, but it does make the cup smell absolutely repugnant. Everything from a sour/acridness to that chemical spray-on sunscreen taste/smell to even smelling/tasting like vomit. It’s very noticable. If the leaf and brewed cup smell fine, then it’s still fine, which is good!

I do know lots of folks that don’t care for lemongrass. Sort of like a citrusy hay flavor, so it is a little herbal and a little tangy.

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Another tea I misplaced, and found again. My first cup of this, I had to look up recommended steeping instructions as I am not yet skilled enough yet in tea identification to eyeball this stuff. So 2:30 at 180F it was. The aroma is very lovely. Fruity and sweet. The flavor, however, eh- not so much. I taste a faint sweetness to it, but not enough for my diabetic mouth. I’m definitely getting some vegetal notes from the green tea and a SLIGHT fruitiness. The flavor overall is very mild. I just don’t think it is for me. I almost want to add sweetener to this to see if it will bring out the peachy fruity notes. Really not my cup of tea. I will likely finish the free sample but probably not till there is nothing else to drink again. I mean, it’s better than Grocery Store, but not by much I feel.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Peach, Vegetal

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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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.


Pennsylvania, US

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