2005 Tasting Notes

First, my humble and apologetic thanks to the donor of this one…I think it was teaequalsbliss, but if it wasn’t, the rest of you know l love you anyway, yes?

Second, I am a Midwestern farm kid with a very plebian spice repertoire. I will publicly admit I don’t have a clue what saffron’s supposed to taste like.

And finally, the tea itself (you were just holding your collective breath waiting for my pronouncement, I’m sure): It was bitter. I hit exactly the middle range on time (2:30), with water boiling as advised, and it put wrinkles in my tongue. But—and you may have experienced this—I still got a sense that the base itself was pretty good black tea. Dropped in a sugar cube and re-evaluated. Improved marginally to “formerly bitter black tea that now has a little bit of a metallic thing going on.”

I hate not having wonderful things to say about a tea, but that’s what this whole forum experience is about.


Yeah! This was a very different tea :) I have many more bags left! LOL


I haven’t been able to identify a specific saffron flavour yet either. The boyfriend can smell it from far away if I’ve added a pinch to the pot at dinner, though.

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
2005 tasting notes

A day ahead with less-than-pleasant tasks in (writing deadlines dead ahead, disaster paperwork never stops, and we’re newbies to the wide world of college financial aid applications which requires tax stuff to be in order) so I’m trying to make it palatable with really good tea. REALLY good tea.

Ashmanra taught me the secret of this one … light and quick makes it magic. Strawberry jam in a cup.



really good tea, indeed.
FFSA is actually much easier to survive than an F5. You will make it. We did.


Thanks for the encouragement!

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drank Lemon Ginger by Davidson's
2005 tasting notes

I think this is the last abused and neglected bag of this one in my work stash. Rereading the ingredient list, I wonder why barley and carob were used in the mix—-it does give it a cracker-y, pastry-ish personality instead of straight-up citrus and spice. Not very lemony; could be because of age of the bag, but I see similar comments in my previous notes.

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drank Rouge Bourbon by Mariage Frères
2005 tasting notes

PIcked this one for an evening wind-down. The vanilla is there, but more subtly than my currently favorite red/vanilla combo (Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Red). Still a good selection, but when I’m craving vanilla, it’s usually because I need a sweetness buzz.

Score one, Cheapster Steepsters, for the superiority of a less expensive alternative.


I got some of the Madagascar Red today, it’s good!


I know what you mean. I think they should just cut the vanilla from the description of this, for me, this counts as plain rooibos. This blend is not for the vanilla to shine, it´s for people who love plain rooibos (yes, we exist, though the rooibos quality better be good) and have the vanilla just bring out the rooibos-ness of it. It´s subtle vanilla, hardly there – is like they always put some vanilla in chocolate but you never notice is there.

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drank Malted ChocoMaté by 52teas
2005 tasting notes

This, plus a chocolate chip cookie, was my breakfast. A clue to what kind of day I anticipate? :)

Definitely one of my favorite chocolate teas. Ever.


Chocolate chip cookies are one of the best breakfast foods ever :)


Ahhh…I live for affirmation…thanks!

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drank Chance Combinations by Custom
2005 tasting notes

Harney & Sons Vanilla Comoro + Frontier Natural Foods Sunset Rouge

I can’t believe there’s something VC doesn’t go with, but this is it. The tart Sunset Rouge berry flavor, which I was trying to tone down, mutated into stale & vinegary flavor that was just flat nasty.

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Regretfully reaching the end of my sample. This has a lovely clean, clear, coppery taste that (I’m not going to deliberately mess it up for experimental purposes, but…) I suspect you can’t oversteep. Not a hint of bitterness potential.

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drank Dragon Eye Oolong by Revolution Tea
2005 tasting notes

After completely ruining a pot of loose green tea yesterday, I crankily dumped the whole mess and decided to go for simplicity in a sachet. This is a nice bagged oolong; I didn’t get much on the fruit/apricot side, but the safflower and marigold gave it a nice sunny disposition. Which helped mine a bit.

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I ruin this one more than I get it right. There is about a half of a fourth of a degree leeway on this one before it goes wickedly bitter. A basic green ought not to be that finicky!

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This was a gift from the extensive and famous Teaequalsbliss collection, and I was grateful to try it!

Steeped the recommended 5 minutes, this is dark, almost ebony, and rich and thick. There’s not a bit of fruit in it, but it made me hold my tongue the same way I would if I was eating a bowl of black cherries. A very good black tea with subtleties you wouldn’t want to miss by having it too early in the morning.


…unless your early morning cup is the second steep. Pretty thin and not nearly as interesting. One-shot wonder.


I didn’t go for a second steep but thought the first was really good, bag or no bag.

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Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.


Southwest Missouri

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