243 Tasting Notes


As a second note: second infusion was fantastic – 3 minute infusion, hot, no additives. Definitely added to the caffeine of the day :)

Third and final infusion – 6 minutes, hot, no additives – still good. Might be able to get a fourth infusion out, but at this rate, I wouldn’t want to risk it…

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Ahhh, Good Morning! What a day already, super busy since 8:30 and started to drag a few minutes ago. Realized that it was tea related and quickly remedied the situation.

Brewed up a full cup of Lapsang Souchong; hot, four minutes, no additives. The liquor is a golden brown color, it smells smokey but faintly sweet. The flavor is to be expected, smokey, hearty, full-bodied and rich, very faint astringency at the end, but still some how refreshing and rejuvenating. Overall delicious.

4 min, 0 sec

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Ahh Holiday weekend, which means I woke up this morning and really needed some tea.

Rinsed the cake, 40 seconds. I find that rinsing it for shorter periods actually does not get rid of the raw natural wet dog smell and flavor, so I have to go for a longer rinse. Anyway, after my rinse, I steeped another cup for 20 seconds. The liquor is dark, not transparent, thick soupy black. The tea has a natural, but not fishy or dirty, smell but it is woodsy and rich.

Drinking this really helped to settle my stomach and was a great boost to start my day.

As an aside, I have been drinking some teas I got from a local shop, there is no online description which I can find, so I requested information from the company. Hopefully, I can get the info I need and then can I post away about them soon. I just wanted you all to know so you don’t think I’m slacking over here :)

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drank Mandarin Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

Absolutely awful morning, but no reason to bother you with that…had my protein shake again today and as promised made it with mandarin matcha..

2 scoops Vanilla Dream (VPX Powder)
8 ounces water
1 tsp mandarin matcha
1/2 banana

Blended until smooth in my Magic Bullet, the mandarin matcha clumped a little more than the strawberry, probably was too cold with the chilled banana and the water, but overall was very good. The usual bitterness of the matcha is overrun by the vanilla ice cream flavor of the powder, but the slight tartness of the mandarin, is still there, it shines through, just barely to make a whole new flavor to this protein shake.

Here’s to a better afternoon!


Yay for matcha making bad days better!


Sending you better afternoon vibes!



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Lots of stress today, but there is good news: I finally found a white tea I truly love. The smell is natural, a bit like hay, vibrant and it smells delicious.

Infused hot, three minutes, no additives. The tea is light, airy, a brilliant white tea in a sea of otherwise bland and uninteresting white teas. Most of my previous white tea experiences have been blends of white and greens, or whites and flavors, but this is a pure white tea. There is a fruity, slightly floral fragrance of the brewed tea. There is a delicious flavor, it is light, crisp and clean.

3 min, 0 sec

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drank Strawberry Matcha by 52teas
243 tasting notes

Made up my protein shake again this morning, I think I got the ratio right.

2 “Scoops” of the “Vanilla Dream” (VPX)
8 ounces cold water
1 tsp. (I know, a lot) of Strawberry Matcha (52teas)

Blended in Magic Bullet until smooth. This protein mix is very sweet, so it does not need anything added to it, but the little bit of tart from the matcha and the strawberry flavor really go a long way. Going to try it with Mandarin tomorrow. :)


That’s not a lot. I’d put that much in. Heck Koicha (which I don’t suggest w/ this) calls for 1tsp per 1 and 1/3 oz water!:)

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It should go without saying, that I do not hide the fact that I love tea from my friends and family. It should also go without saying that in my many adventures, searching, collecting, trying and rating teas, I have converted a few of those friends and family members into a similar quest.

This one comes from one of my dearest friends. He enjoyed the sample blend at his local Teavana store and decided that he should pick up a few ounces for himself.

The tea itself, is obviously a jumble of teas, you can see some tea leaves, along with typical chai spices, big pieces of citrus peel, lemongrass and a variety of different colored shapes and pieces of tea blend that Teavana is famous for. The smell is very chai, very spiced, but there is a mellow second note, it is spiced and then calm. Smells good.

We infused it hot, three minutes, no additives. A lot of leaf came out of the infuser ball, but these things happen. The liquor is a very pale green color, and the brewed tea smells much like the dried mix in the bag: spiced but mellowed out. The flavor is meh, it is slightly bitter, bland, a hint of citrus and a little peppery, maybe some lemongrass and a bit of cinnamon, but really nothing to write home about. Upon my first sip, I was pretty sure this tea needed something.

Positive this could be better, I must say that a teaspoon of sugar went a long way in this. It awakened all of the citrus, brightened the pepper and cinnamon, even used the lemongrass to play into the whole brew. Overall, it was pretty good, and I am glad, just needed some tweaking! Enjoy!

3 min, 0 sec

My mother got this last time we went into the city. We had the same problem, but for our tweaking we ended up using 2 rounded teaspoons instead of the suggested 1.5, and upped the steep time to between 4 and 5 minutes. It was much better and much more fragrant. I don’t even like chai and I could tell the difference.

She even gets two steeps out of it by doubling the steep time. We’ve found anything less than double and it’s a little weaker than she likes. You may want to try it that way. :)


I will have to next time, thanks for the tips!

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drank Cranberry Twist by Timothy's
243 tasting notes

I spent the night at a friend’s house and was very intrigued by their Keurig Hot Drink Maker. It makes coffee, tea, and hot cocoa out of individual cups into a single serve mug. Neat little device, had seen them before but never thought I would need one. So of course I tried the tea.

This one was powdered, no leaves to be found, no leaves to smell or enjoy, but you could tell (by shaking the “K-Cup”) that it was powder. Hmm. If you know anything about this device, it means you know none of the parameters for making the hot beverage: brewing time, temperature and parameters unknown.

The tea is an appropriate liquor color, the odor is faint green, but the cranberry and possibly destroyed green tea in the cup is very bitter. This of course could be for a number of reasons:
1. could be poor quality tea, who would know without ripping open one of the little K-Cups.
2. could just be abused tea, as in it is definitely powder, probably burnt, crushed and thoroughly abused in the process of making it into a single-serve cup.
3. cranberries can be very bitter, and they captured that flavor just right.
4. there are no adjustments on this machine, so no temperature or time adjustments, it simply could not be set up to make green tea.

So, I added a packet of Truvia (the natural no calorie stuff made from Stevia with the strawberry on the logo – thanks wombatgirl) and dealt with it. The tea itself was not good, but I do not blame the tea per se. I believe that the true problem with this product is that the tea was quickly made without taking the care or consideration of how tea should be prepared. After all, the Keurig, which is a product simply of convenience (and very much so for coffee I might add) that it is simply not made to make a good cup of tea, a convenient one, sure, but good, no.

I am curious to try another tea using the machine, just to see if it is the machine or the companies that make the instant tea. Next time I suppose.


Truvia is actually made from Stevia – it’s just got a strawberry as a logo.

I’ve had a few mint teas from a Keurig that didn’t suck – but I think it was because they could take the hotter water.


Thanks for the Truvia, will update above…Yea, I really think that the Keurig would work with at least one of the other teas, I just did not have time to try more…


We have a K-cup machine at work and that’s how I came across this tea. Almost all of them are bad. Some of them are OK, but only if compared to bagged tea. Since I’m used to loose now, I tend to avoid them all.


Ohhh, four months ago I didn’t have a k-cup machine yet, but now I do. The tea isn’t really fine powdered leaves. It’s resembles honeybush. Never tried this one, but perhaps I’ll pick up a tea variety box next time. I’ve had the Celestial sweet ice teas and it was what I expected, sweet flavored ice teas like the ones you get at restaurants. I wouldn’t expect these processed leaves to resemble anything like loose leaf. Scratch that, I’ve had a k-cup earl grey and it’s basically a teabag earl grey quality. Nothing premium, but definitely drinkable and passable.

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Needed to wake up this morning. Brewed up a huge cup of this, infused hot, four minutes, added four rocks of sugar and a tablespoon of half and half.

The aroma of the tea is toasty, a little bitter raisin smell, with a hint of cinnamon. The flavors all blend very nicely: creamy, slightly sweet, cinnamon, raisins, toasty black tea. Absolutely wonderful.

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drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
243 tasting notes

I am not enjoying this one as much as I would have hoped. I like oolong teas, but this one seems a bit too floral for me. There is a floral note to the dried leaves and then one to the brewed tea. Sifting through other reviews on here, it appears I infused it a bit incorrectly, but you live and learn.

As I said, the dried leaves, curled into little balls, smell like oolong with a strong floral note. I will not lie, that this note concerned me, so I added a few rocks of sugar to my cup as it was infusing. Followed package directions, infused hot, three minutes.

The liquor is a very pale yellow and the odor is characteristic of the dried leaves, there are no additional aromas released upon brewing. The tea continues to baffle me because though I can smell the floral orchid note, I really can only taste oolong while it was hot. As I allowed the tea to cool, I noticed more of a bitter note at the end of the oolong, this was not here while the brew was hot. This bitter note is more upsetting because I added sugar to the brew.

I fear I messed something up, that or I do not like orchids in my oolong…

3 min, 0 sec

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I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone



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