66 Tasting Notes


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Got a pouch of this in the mail from Ohio Tea Company yesterday. It smells lovely and fresh, like sweet hay and lemons and sage. I was cleaning out the barn for the entire day in preparation for 2 new horses—both semi-neglect cases that were thrown into a pasture and forgotten about. My friend already brought the male home, and I’m probably getting the female for myself in a couple of weeks if/when the owner decides to let go of her—and it just seemed like a good choice of drink after all that.

Not sure what this tea did to me, but I was out after drinking a cup. Made it the way it specified to on the bag with a bit of honey and I was snoring on the couch directly after finishing it. Out from 6 pm to 10 pm, when I woke up and shuffled to my bed before promptly passing out again. (Glad I showered before making that tea.) Can’t say I’ve slept for 13 hours in a good while.

I can barely recall what it tastes like aside from the lemon and sage notes. What a bizarre tea.

Flavors: Hay, Lemon, Sage

Boiling 8 min or more 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Alright, this is growing on me a month or two later. 3 grams in a boiling 12 ounces of water for 5 minutes seems to be the sweet spot. Gone with the baked bread and wheat, in with the dried cherry and malty-honey notes. Made a thermos of this to take to work so I had another warm thing after my morning coffee (yay, sudden cold snap with snow!) and it was heavenly to sip on after taking aggregate samples out in the mine. Mmmm, I’m suddenly glad that I own 100 grams of this stuff.

Flavors: Cherry, Dried Fruit, Honey, Malt

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

That sounds really nice right now and perfect for the weather and work.


That must be what I’m drinking this morning (thank you kindly)! It is definitely the closest-to-honey unflavored I’ve had in recent memory. Very nice.


It is, Derk! If you’d like to try some, I’ll gladly send a bag of it and some other nice teas your way.

Yeah, it’s one of the best honey blacks I’ve had, GG. It has that nice, smooth honey note without the odd mustiness that usually goes along with it. Been drinking it for a few days in a row now. :)


Thank you for the offer, Eelong. I might message you soon :)

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This sounded good! And I wanted it to be good. But…. oh. Hm. Wow. It smells like a soapy off-brand $0.99 vanilla candle when it’s dry and foams when you add water. Not just some light bubbles from the water plunging below the surface of the stuff already in the cup, but it foams up like you forgot to wash all of the dish soap out of your mug. (And I had just drank the rest of the previous cup of Nepal Gold Meadow, so that couldn’t be the case.) Left a white bubbly film in the tea basket and everything.

The flavor quality is about what you would expect from a gas station pre-packaged vanilla sponge cake, if you were so desperate as to eat one of those. Not much depth, just an odd soapy artificial vanilla. Can’t say I expected much from a tea that’s $2 an ounce, though. Probably good for the crowd who likes their tea with some milk and sugar.

Nautilus has some decent teas—Mother of Earl, for example—but I can’t honestly say that this is one of them. Definitely fit last night’s mood of “eating dinner on the floor because I’m covered in cement dust and need some hot sustenance before showering and hopping into bed,” though.

Flavors: Artificial, Soap, Vanilla

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

Each paragraph elicited an “ oh dear.” Here’s hoping for some delectable tea in the near future for you!


I dunno … those gas station vanilla cakes are every bit as tasty as Zingers that are a month past their expiration date ;)


ashmanra – It was an “oh dear” experience in real life, as well. Thank you! I’ve already eased the pain away with a few lovely blacks and herbals.

Gmathis – Oh, those Zingers scare me. I’ve never had one before and the vending machine at the office stocks both carrot cake and devil’s food versions. I’m terrified that I’ll either spit it out into the trash can after a bite or become hopelessly addicted for a few weeks like the previous incident with Hershey almond bars from there.

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I feel like a savage steeping a nominal amount of this in a 2-cup teapot with a basket without a set water temperature for a nominal amount of time. And then pouring it into a mug that’s too dark inside to distinguish the color of the liquor.

Oh well! It’s lovely, regardless. The dry leaves are delightfully soft to the touch with a malty, vegetal, caramelized scent to them. You get a strong whiff of toasted marshmallow when you lift the lid off the freshly steeped pot of tea. It smells toasty like roasted grain in the cup. Lots happening with this tea.

Taste-wise, it’s incredibly complex. Marzipan and marshmallow with caramelized sugar on the surface. Some umami, vegetal tones below that. Alfalfa and toasted rice. A prominent sweetness on the tongue and in the aftertaste. If I didn’t brew this myself, I’d swear that there was caster sugar added to it. That saccharine touch lingers for minutes afterwards. An excellent Easter tea, even when you brew it carelessly with no rhyme or reason to the process.

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Marshmallow, Marzipan, Sweet, Toasted Rice, Umami

3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Aw, we barbarians need to stick together! That sounds incredible!

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Another one from the ggmathis box! Made a thermos of it before braving the crowd at Aldi on Saturday morning in the middle of a pandemic. Steeping time was the equivalent of one straight minute of aggressively dunking the bag up and down into the water until it looked nearly opaque in a tall porcelain vessel. Didn’t get to try it until after I emerged from Aldi with a few bruises from getting hip-checked by shopping carts in the produce aisle, but mmmmm. It’s a very light black base with just the right amount of sweet dark cherry flavor. If I manage to find this anywhere in a store, I’m grabbing a box. Very pleasant for being what appears to be a cheaply produced bagged tea dust. I’m used to those tasting like sorrow and a waste of $2 for the box.

Flavors: Cherry

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Do you have Big Lots or Tuesday Morning stores in your neck of the woods? That would’ve come from one or the other of those.

Martin Bednář

I know this brand, I have some empty tea bags in my collection, but never saw them in stores :(
Sounds so tasty!


St. Dalfour has a peach black that isn’t bad (good to ice down in the summer), but stay away from their Earl Gray. It really does taste like floor cleaner.


Good info to know! I checked Big Lots’ tea aisle yesterday when I did the weekly “what store has sanitizing products left because we’re close to being out at our essential business” run and didn’t see any fruit St. Dalfour; just green, earl grey, and English breakfast. I’ll make sure to keep looking!


Lately, our Big Lots tea selection has been pretty disappointing … it comes and goes.


So wait… even essential businesses also have to go out and search for sanitizing products? I thought the businesses would have more of a direct line to those things…


Yeah, we’re an essential part of the construction supply chain and an independent small business at that, so we’re stuck rummaging through the shelves of Walmart like the rest of the population. I scored the last antibacterial product on the shelf, a 30 ounce bottle of Mango & Hibiscus scented Lysol all-purpose concentrate, and it felt like finding a wild unicorn. Haven’t been able to find anything aside from that for a month now.


Ah, I hope the essential businesses are at least finding what they need. I guess a BIG essential business is making sanitizing products. sigh.

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Thanks to ggmathis for sending this, among many other teas! Reached for it as a bedtime tea, since the bags were small enough to look like a herbal instead of something with 3 grams of regular tea in them. Upon taking a sniff, it smelled like rooibos, which is something I’ve had maybe twice in my life. (Tastes too medicinal to warrant frequent drinking, personally.) Steeped it in boiling water for the same length of time it took to wash off some well-steeped Nepal Golden Meadow from earlier and divvy it up between the worm bin and isopod containers. About 5 minutes, probably? It smelled intensely like honey.

Tastes like drinking straight honey, too. Almost concerningly so. A bit disappointed at the lack of cranberry, since I love strong cranberry flavors; and I couldn’t find much ginger, but the honey was s t r o n g. Wonder if it had something to do with the steep time. Pretty solid cup of tea if you’re into drinking a cup of pure honey without the subsequent 400 grams of sugar.

Flavors: Honey, Rooibos

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

I am totally non-scientific and don’t pay any attention to steep times, but I will next time around just for comparison purposes :) Often, I just drink this one with bag-in-cup.

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drank Mossy Frog Black Tea by Hatvala
66 tasting notes

I love shan tuyet tea, no surprise there. Hard to stay away from wild tippy tea with chocolate and adzuki bean notes. (Especially when they’re named after cute amphibians. I’m easily drawn in by bumpy little frogs.) This one is different from the What-cha offering I’m used to—a little less smooth, there’s some bite from the woody spicy notes. Not as much natural sweetness, and the chocolate has a subtle presence. It’s a bit like the tea version of an oriental-type perfume. It works as both a cold brew and a pot of hot tea. I think I’m more fond of it as a cold drink, since the red bean flavor comes out to play and mingles so nicely with that peppery kick.

Flavors: Beany, Dark Chocolate, Oak, Pepper, Spicy

Iced 8 min or more 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Eel and tea lover. Big fan of dark oolongs, Nepal blacks, and fruity herbals. I occasionally make the terrible mistake of trying weird teas and then spend a good 5 minutes scrubbing my tongue with a toothbrush trying to get the taste out of my mouth.

100: Downright addictive.
95+: A definite favorite. This is something I’ll reach for again when I want something special.
90-95: I’d drink this again without question. There’s probably 4 ounces of it sitting by the tea kettle.
80-89: I’m glad I tried this and I’ll happily drink through the rest of the pouch. Might not be on the reorder list, though.
60-79: This is either mediocre and acceptable or I hate it and don’t want to skew the rating.
40-59: Uh, this is drinkable. Probably.
20-39: We’re entering the abyss. Here lies danger.
1-19: Please take me out if I ever try to brew this one again.

If I’ve recently reviewed something that you’d like to try, let me know! I usually buy teas in 25 gram samples and have extra to pass around.



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