45 Tasting Notes


(Tea bag is labeled “Blood Orang & Mandarin Scent: Magic Garden” so this may be a different version.)

Strong smell of tart orange for both the teabag and the infused tea. Has a bit of hibiscus flavor which I normally don’t care for, but in this case it works well with the sour orange.

Flavors: Hibiscus, Orange

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Tried this at their restaurant. Has a strong cinnamon flavor with a sweet/tart tangerine aftertaste. Even without sugar, this tea came across as quite sweet and I certainly didn’t need dessert after this! (Warning, it can get strong very fast so take a taste at least a minute before the recommended steeping time is up.)

Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Sweet, Tangy

2 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey by Tea Forte
45 tasting notes

A mild Earl Grey (although I might have underbrewed a bit), not as bitter as some. The bergemot flavor is subtle at first but becomes more apparent after the tea cools slightly. The “single steeps” packet had whole cornflowers mixed in which I’ve never seen before. Usually they’re just bits of petals. The serving size was also quite generous and I only needed half for my mug.

Is this a great tea? I don’t really know – Earl Greys depend so much on brewing time, mood, etc that I can’t really rank them without a direct comparison, which I’ve never actually done. But I’ll certainly be bringing a packets of this to the office for morning tea emergencies.

Flavors: Bergamot, Tea

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Cider Spices by Aspen
45 tasting notes

This is a powdered drink, so not exactly “tea” per se. I stirred 2 heaping tsp in hot water, ignoring the instructions (which say to mix with juice, tea or brandy). It has a nice cinnamon or chai-like flavor, although be warned it’s quite sweet — the first ingredient is sugar, after all.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity, Sweet

2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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(60 = not bad but not special.)

Decent breakfast blend, nice flavor combination, but doesn’t really stand out from any of the other dozens of “decent” black teas out there.

Came as part of a “single steeps” variety set. I only needed half the pouch, though. Short brew so it was mild and not bitter.

Flavors: Tea

2 min, 0 sec

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Have a box of this that’s been sitting around for years – but still good!
Smooth black tea with faint notes of spices. The cardamon flavor becomes stronger as the tea cools down. I underbrewed to avoid possible bitterness and it came out very nice. Would make a good milk chai.

Flavors: Cardamom, Tea

1 min, 30 sec

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Found a box that was stashed away from last winter. Main flavors are cinnamon and mild ginger. Decent but not amazing, I prefer really strong ginger flavor in my tea. Will probably take to the office for afternoon drinking, though.

I don’t drink tea with sugar but it might make for a nice “cookie” flavored dessert tea if you do.

EDIT: Just discovered my office has a large communal tea stash so somebody else gets to appreciate this one.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Ginger

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(Not a proper review, just a reminder to myself to buy this again.) Bought an ounce of this during a trip to New Mexico; as I recall it was a pretty nice blend and not too bitter when brewed dark.

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drank Cherry Tea by Wissotzky Tea
45 tasting notes

Finally got around to doing a proper review for this.An amazing cherry scent when you first pour the hot water over it. A 5 minute brew gives a mild black tea with a cherry aftertaste and a little bit of tartness (might be the hibiscus – but for once the flavor actually complements the fruit rather than detracting).

As noted in my previous review, longer brewing time gets you stronger cherry flavor, so have fun with it.

Previous over-brew review: http://steepster.com/chai-mera/posts/299405
A good non-caff alternative is NMTeaCo’s Pondi Cherry: http://steepster.com/chai-mera/posts/301920

TRAVEL NOTES: Individually wrapped teabags make this a good at-work tea. Probably not a good while-commuting choice, though as it can get overly strong.

Flavors: Cherry

5 min, 0 sec

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This is just is not working for me. The stevia is cloying and there is very little else going on, can barely taste the pumpkin or spices. A longer brew might bring out the flavors, but I already feel like my tongue is coated with not-quite-sugar.

The box has been sitting in my tea drawer probably since last fall. Now I understand why.

UPDATE: Tried adding soy milk to see if it would taste better as a sweet latte. Answer: Not really.

Flavors: Sweet

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(FYI: If I have a low numerical rating + “Would recommend” it means it’s a good quality tea but has something I personally don’t like. It’s not you, it’s me.)

Smaller and less deadly than its sister Chimera (“kai-mera”), the Chai-mera makes mischief by over-brewing tea, burning unguarded leaves, and kidnapping small livestock. It is typically found in the backs of cupboard and sometimes under beds where, if not aggravated, it can serve as a delightful foot warmer.

TEA RATINGS: My version of Steepster’s emoticon rating:
90-100 :D = One of my all-time favorites / a cupboard staple.
75-90 :9 = Pretty tasty!
50-75 :) = Quality tea but not to my taste OR Might drink again if gifted.
25-50 :/ = Ranges from drinkable to decent. (Wouldn’t go out of my way for it, but might finish what I have.)
01-25 XP = Down the drain with ye!

SEARCHING FOR: a good herbal or noncaf (no hibiscus, please).

I sometimes include a TRAVEL NOTES section about whether a tea stands up to rugged use (won’t overbrew in a thermos, can make a decent cup with hot tap water, etc).

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