911 Tasting Notes


I’m bumping up the rating of this tea just a bit. Why? Because it’s pretty crave-able (I’ve been thinking about having the last of my sample for days), tastes just like what it should (a big bowl of fresh rice), makes my queasy stomach feel better (stupid allergies) and so tasty that every time I make another steep, I have to go surf Chicago Tea Garden’s website to see what other goodies I need to buy.

Now I just have to decide if I’m going to get 75g or 100g of this…

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It sounds like it would be really weird to me (tea and rice?) but I’m glad you think it has merit. :)


Oohh, sounds good. I had to flip a coin between this and the Yunnan black. I’ll probably order a sample of this.


This sounds amazing…. I sent for a free sample of this as well back when i heard about it, but i’ve never received mine…. But all these reviews of this just make me want to go ahead and get some anyway.


Jillian, it’s more rice tea than rice and tea, if that makes sense. It’s quite tasty!
Lena, I didn’t flip a coin but the Yunnan was my second choice!
Garrett, Maybe yours will just take a bit longer to come in? I don’t remember how long mine took.

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Keep moving, folks. Nothing to see here. Just a standard Earl Grey with nothing to set it apart from the herd. Let’s keep the flow of traffic going. Life’s too short to drink boring tea. Nothing to see here. ::waves with a little traffic baton:: Let’s keep it moving.

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LOL. This is not the tea you’re looking for. Move along.

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drank Honeybush by Samovar
911 tasting notes

Smells very berry-like, which is kind of confusing. And wood, which makes it kind of unpleasant because it is almost hitting that sour wood thing. The taste is woody – sweet, bordering on sour wood. (Huh, it’s apparently not just a rooibos thing then.) Actually, I take that back, it is the just aftertaste that is bordering on rotten-sweet (and that lessens when I take big sips). The rest of the taste is a nice, plain wood. I don’t pick up any of the cedar or orange or leather notes the tasting notes mention. Just wood. Well, maybe a faint hint of bright citrus note that makes it more fresh, sanded wood and not just a tree limb. It’s not all that complex tasting (at least not to me) but it isn’t flat tasting either. Fairly straightforward and… well, honestly? Kinda plain.

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Plainness: that’s why it’s so often used as a base. ;) Do try it iced with some sugar—that’s the way I first encountered honeybush, on a hot day when there was no option to get out of the heat, and all the other available beverages had caffeine. I was surprised at how tasty and refreshing it was.

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drank Honeydew by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

A while back, the husband and I got a food dehydrator to make jerky. (The husband makes seriously awesome venison jerky.) When we first got it, we went a little dehydrator-crazy. If it was edible, we’d try to dehydrate it. Some of our experiments were more successful than others (I highly suggest dehydrated zucchini slices – they are potato-chip-level addictive.) But I knew we had gone too far when we dehydrated watermelon.

The dried watermelon bits were textured like Fruit Roll-Ups (which wasn’t bad) but the taste… it was melon and slightly sweet and very musky. I cannot adequately explain how musky it was. “Extremely” would be an understatement. It was perhaps how licking a male muskox would taste. Obviously, this was very weird to me and I found eating the dried watermelon distracting and unpleasant. After that experience, I decided to retreat back into dehydrating only jerky and zucchini and never think of the watermelon musk disaster again.

Until I drank this tea.

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A sad little story. So sorry. :-(

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

What kind of dehydrator did you get?


Morgana, It was a traumatic moment in our culinary history. :)

RachanaC, We have a Nesco Gardenmaster. We liked it so much we got one for my dad. (He had a tendency of putting peppers in the oven to dry, then my mom wouldn’t know and would preheat the oven for something… Yeah, burned peppers is not a happy smell.) It does a fantastic job, even on meats (which our old dehydrator had issues with – not hot enough I suppose?)


I love story reviews like this.


I think I still have some of these flowers from Teaspring lying around. I once bought a couple of different ones because I thought it could be fun to experiment with in otherwise boring teas. I never got the hang of honeydew. It doesn’t taste like honey and it doesn’t taste like dew. The entire name is false advertising. Once again our tastebuds are aligned…


oh no! :( and i do love this tea so but i can see how after that experience it would be an unpleasant thing


I do like fresh melon (though honeydew is probably my least favorite, I still like it), I guess since the sweet taste overrides any musk (which, obviously, I’m not a fan of). If there were a fresh melon tea, I could get behind that probably. Maybe.
Angrboda, Wonder Twin powers, activate! :)


So like… is there anything that is sweet and dehydrator safe? Now you have me curious. Boyfriend’s dad hunts deer all the time, and I’d kill to have some fresh jerky. I’ve never had it. Only store bought. But I’ve heard great things about it. Problem is, I can’t ever justify buying something that has one use, especially kitchen gadgets. So, is there anything that’s sweet that is dehydrate-able do you think? Or is it just better with salty things I wonder.

Also are the zucchinis crunchy or chewy?


Fresh jerky is awesome and you can flavor it depending on your likes- spicy, sweet, a little of both… As far as other non-meat things, dehydrated strawberries are delightful. We usually end up eating about half of them before they are fully done dehydrating. Sweet potatoes and zucchini aren’t salty (unless you add salt) but they don’t really qualify as sweet like the strawberries, I suppose. And they are both crunchy/crisp. And tasty.


That sounds awesome. :) Thanks. I need to try this out sometime.

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drank Lychee Black by Samovar
911 tasting notes

I finished off the last of this sample using a little sugar and half & half. Now, instead of it making me think of a rose tea, it’s sweeter and juicier – more fruit-like – with a light floral/rose finish. Samovar’s Russian Blend has lychee in it and with the additives, I’m finally tasting the sweet fruit taste in this that I get from that blend. I’m bumping this rating up a little because, while it’s a bit too rose for me straight, I’m really loving it all doctored up.

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drank Phoenix Oolong by Samovar
911 tasting notes

Steeped it after a quick rinse. The smell is softly honeyed. The taste is… delightful. Gently floral and honeyed – not in a light, summery way but more of a dark, wintery, woodsy taste. If I preferred darker oolongs, this would rank pretty high. But I prefer greener oolongs so, while this is tasty, it’s not something I have to have on hand.

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drank Mango Nut by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

This smells like coconut and warm mango juice. It tastes… weird. There’s an almost alcoholic taste but the more I sip, the more I think it is just how the mango juice flavor comes across when hot. It’s very nutty and woody (thankfully not sour woody) but I can’t determine what kind of nut.

As it cools, I get flashes of coconut that override the mango. I definitely like it more once it cools a bit – the flavors blend better and the alcohol taste goes away. This is definitely not as good as their Coconut Custard, but it’s probably one of the best fruity rooibos I’ve had.

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drank Honeybee by The Simple Leaf
911 tasting notes

I went a little heavier on the leaf so I could finish off this tea, so I shortened the steep time by a hair. The Nilgiri, thick leaf taste is stronger than the first time I had this (but it still lacks the rough edge I associate with Nilgiris) plus I’m getting a pretty heavy honey aftertaste. I sort of like this in spite of my best efforts not to.

2 min, 30 sec

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drank Cherry Vanilla Ala Mode by Teas Etc
911 tasting notes

I got this tea not because I thought I’d like it, but because I thought that having lemongrass in a cherry tea was weird and that intrigued me.

It smells like tart cherries with a little fake cherry sucker on a wooden stick. The taste is fairly similar to the smell but with a dash of cherry Crème Saver thrown in – you know, those fruit and ‘cream’ candy LifeSavers? (Or were the pink ones strawberry? I dunno, I always got the orange ones.) Anyway, it tastes like that. With a bit of wood, like how a popsicle tastes when you are right up to the wooden stick. But sometimes I pick up some of that sourness that I dislike so in rooibos. So maybe the Crème Saver popsicle is really old and the wood is going bad in spots.

Anyway, I don’t really get the lemongrass. Though if I close my eyes and imagine a bit, I start think it comes through in a kind of fresh top layer the tea seems to have. The Crème Savers certainly didn’t leave that fresh feeling in my mouth.

So yeah, this basically tastes like supermarket candy. On a old stick. Which doesn’t sound that positive, but I will say that I liked the second half of my cup (once it had cooled) more than the first since all the tastes seemed to meld better and become smoother. So it was a fresh, smooth Crème Saver on a stick.

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“So maybe the Crème Saver popsicle is really old and the wood is going bad in spots.” ~ Yummy


Rooibos usually gives me rotten wood tastes, so the fact that the popsicle stick was only bad in spots is a… good thing? :)


Yea, the rotten wood taste it what has been scaring me off of rooibos. I have been on the lookout for rooibos blends that do not taste like that.


Yeah, rooibos is a hit or miss thing for me… more miss usually. Tea Etc’s Coconut Custard is one that makes me happy, but they are out of stock until mid-July. Boo. I like Lupicia’s Rooibos Green, which makes me almost think of chamomile and has zero woodness. Anyway, I’m with you – on the look out for non-sour rooibos. They are rare beasties!

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drank Viva by The Simple Leaf
911 tasting notes

Dropping the rating a lot on this because I just can’t deal with the end astringency. There is an interesting flavor at the start but the nutty bitterness just kills it for me. And it gets worse as it cools. Bleh. I gave it a decent rating at first because it had potential but either all it has is potential or I’m just not… uhm, man?… enough to bring out what it promises.

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I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.

1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.





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