61 Tasting Notes

A sample gift from Martin, thank you!

Exhausted today so no long reviews or precision brewing. Just a good heaped teaspoon of tea and boiled water. It was soothing tea, very pleasant. I didn’t get any of the ginger or tea, just peppermint and a little spice from the peppercorns.

Finished my cup so that’s always a good sign!

Flavors: Peppercorn, Peppermint

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 250 ML
Martin Bednář

You are welcome

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drank Autumn Mist Green by Adagio Teas
61 tasting notes

This was a great start to the growing mountain of autumnal teas I have in my cupboard. I’m usually put off by flavourings instead of natural ingredients, but this creme brulee flavouring completely won me over. It just smells so damn good.

Dry, it reminds me of cream, caramel, Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur, sweet stewed apple and a little tartness that reminds me of cranberry (after reading the ingredients I can see this is actually rosehip).

It was agony waiting for my water temperature to drop to 82C. Worth it though. The brewed tea had an aroma of Bailey’s again, cream, and sweet caramel, losing those more down-to-earth apple and tart berry aromas.

The flavour, thankfully, was not as sickly sweet as the wet aroma suggested – for which I am very grateful. I tend to get sick of overly sweet teas very quickly and can rarely finish a whole cup. But this was perfect.

Having consumed a vast amount of marigold tea earlier this year I picked out the familiar mellow note in the tea body almost instantly, along with the distinct gunpowder green tea. I didn’t detect any of the smokiness that other Steepster tasting notes talk about, instead I found a burnt sugar note, just like the crispy top of freshly made creme brulee that my father used to make. He used a blow torch to melt the sugar like that. It’s a miracle we’ve never had a house fire. I digress. The tea is smooth and light overall, with dancing apple and caramel notes playing over my tongue.

It’s VERY easy to drink and the sweet flavours linger for a little while after each sip.

Pictures in the blog review (we’ve recently changed the design of our website, so it’s all shiny and new): https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/adagio-autumn-mist-green-tea-review/

Flavors: Apple, Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Smooth

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Martin Bednář

Tea sounds lovely. I noticed change of website earlier, which is better for me as mobile user, but bit worse when I read it on laptop. As I have quite small one, the menu on the left is quite wide and not much space for reading remains. But that problem on more websites, not just yours. Otherwise the design looks better for me :)


I’ve avoided this one due to the smokiness, but you may have just convinced me to give it a try!

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drank Two Seasons by teakruthi
61 tasting notes

The first sampler from Teakruthi that I’ve tried and reviewed. It’s simple – black tea with dried ginger and peaches.

Dry, it smells of juicy sweet concentrated (but not artificial) peaches and honeyed ginger. The brown sugar and baked bread aromas make the honeyed ginger smell just like sticky dark ginger cake loaf.

Wet, the aroma is much more fiery and spicy from the ginger with a touch of earthiness and cinnamon. The ginger cake has morphed into sticky toffee pudding. I’m drooling just writing this tasting note although it’s been days since I actually drank this.

The flavour isn’t quite as good as the aroma – the ginger is very strong. I can handle it because it tastes closer to fresh ginger than dried ginger. It sticks in your throat. Once acclimatised to the ginger, I found the tea to be quite mellow and light-bodied with sweet and fruity notes.

The texture is thick and syrupy.

If I finish this sample before the end of Autumn I will definitely restock. I’m pulling out some of the dried ginger pieces when I brew it again so there’s a little less fire.


Flavors: Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cake, Ginger, Honey, Peach, Smooth, Spicy, Sweet, Toffee

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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drank English Breakfast by Novus Tea
61 tasting notes

Ordered a pot of this in ‘The Stores’ cafe in my nearest village. It was surprisingly good! I drank the first teacup black, it was smooth and rich. Full-flavoured and just really thirst quenching after my trek to the cafe. The second teacup had a little bitterness as it kept brewing in the pot so I added some milk. Again, really good, smooth and full-flavoured.

Possibly one of the best pyramid tea sachet format English Breakfast teas that I’ve tried.

Martin Bednář

I checked their website – because I have one tea bag in my collection, and it seems they do not have tea bags invidually wrapped anymore. But they offer loose leaf too. Interesting change of business.


Yes, it certainly is. A good change, I hope! I have a Novus mint tea bag at home too.

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drank An'xi Ben Shan Oolong by teapro
61 tasting notes

Arrived in my teapro box this week and I’ve kind of fallen in love with it.

Dry, the aroma is super fresh. Reminds me of freshly cut flowers and foliage, very green but not at all grassy.

It brews into a really pale, welcoming yellow colour. Now the aroma is just so unggh. Sweet, sweet stewed pears in liqueur with jasmine and lilies creating this floral perfume over the top. There’s a slight hint of minerals too but not enough to put me off (I’m not a fan of that mineral flavour).

Tastes just like it smells; sweet and subtle with jasmine floral notes and pears.

Really impressed with this oolong. It’s fast becoming an all-time favourite.

Full review of the whole tea box: https://www.immortalwordsmith.co.uk/teapro-subscription-box-review-oolong/

Flavors: Floral, Jasmine, Pear, Perfume, Sweet

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

Wow, great review at immortalwordsmith, Izzy.


Thanks :)

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drank Masala Chai by Basilur
61 tasting notes

This was a good masala chai with the right balance of spice (for my palate, anyway). I had a bad experience with Whittard Spice Imperial a few years back that really put me off any tea with cloves in it. This one has made me rethink that.

The Ceylon black tea base works with and without milk. It’s bitter-free, smooth and strong enough to stand up to the spices, without milk. With milk, the creaminess makes the black tea notes richer and softer, yet the spices still don’t overpower it. There’s a natural sweetness to it that lets me forgo sugar happily.

Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black peppercorns peak through, with a dried orange zest edge to the aroma. The overall feel is soothing. A relaxing sensation for the mind and body just from breathing in the fragrance.

It’s forgiving with longer steep times. One cup I brewed last week sat on the counter for about 7 or 8 minutes and was still smooth (although strong) when I finally drank it.

I’d describe it as between good and great. It’s not excellent or winning any awards, but it’s definitely more than just a “nice cup of tea”.


Flavors: Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Orange Zest, Smooth, Spices

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 45 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Limoncello by Whittard of Chelsea
61 tasting notes

Hanging onto summer to post my final summery tea blend reviews. It’s currently in that in-between stage – sunny and bright like summer, but slightly too cool for shorts and tshirts.

Anyway, about the tea. It’s quite good but very light, unlike limoncello. It’s sweet and gentle with a lemongrass dominant flavour. Little notes of woody herbs pop up too, with a lingering sweetness in the aftertaste from the apple. It’s really pleasant and soothing… I just feel like maybe it’s missing that final ingredient to make it pop.

Speaking of apples, they’re popping up all over the place this week like a theme. The cooking apple tree by my house is starting to drop apples as they ripen – faster than we can eat them. They’re slowly rotting and creating this slightly sweet smell in the air that weirdly I love. It’s one of the first signs of autumn. I’ll collect them later this week for the compost heap.


Flavors: Apple, Herbaceous, Lemongrass, Sweet, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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drank Bourbon Vanilla by Eloments
61 tasting notes

First tea from my Eloments stash. A new tea company discovery this month. Tea bags, yes, but also the most thorough attention to sustainable sourcing, organic farming and fairtrade practices that I’ve found from any tea company.

This was tasty although not as tasty as the description sounds. It’s sweet and light and herbaceous which takes a while to get used to because this is an Assam based tea. It works though. There’s a creamyness that reminds me of milk chocolate with rich vanilla and malt notes.

It’s just the texture and body is so light. The contrast of rich and light is notable.

That herby flavour comes from the plant extracts added. Because this is a vitamin tea that provides 40% of your daily intake of 9 vitamins. It’s an interesting concept, having vitamin enriched teas. I’m sure the tea purists are shuddering at the thought. I quite like it though. I just wish you couldn’t taste the herbs.

Nonetheless, a good tea. A reputable company. Health benefits… maybe. For someone with no known deficiencies and a fairly balanced diet, like me, I’m not sure the vitamin tea has much impact. Promising concept though. If I ever did need to take vitamins I’d rather drink a cup of herbaceous tea than swallow a pill.


Flavors: Herbaceous, Malt, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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Tasted and reviewed this one a few weeks ago, but I’ve only just got around to logging it on Steepster.

I read Derk’s tasting note before trying it. Got to admit, it really got my hopes up for delicious stone fruits and brown sugar. But I didn’t get that at all. I’m mostly putting it down to inexperience (my first puerh), which is why I’m not rating it either.

I got a mix of steamed green vegetables, mostly.

Steep 1, 10 seconds, medicinal pak choi flavour and steamed veg aroma.
Steep 2, 15 seconds, complex cruciferous veg flavour with a hint of sweetness and strong camphor aroma.
Steep 3, 15 seconds, the same as #2 but with a gentler flavour and saltier aroma.
Steep 4, 20 seconds, no change.
Steep 5, 20 seconds, weaker but still that distinct, leafy green cruciferous vegetable flavour.
Steep 6, 50 seconds, less vegetable-like, more green tea-like and more mellow in flavour with a hint of bitterness.
Steep 7, 2 minutes 30 seconds, the vegetable flavour has turned almost grassy and astringent with an unusual sweetness that reminds me of unripe melon. It’s the flavour of the thin slither of green right at the edge of a slice of honeydew melon.
Steep 8, 6 minutes, mellower vegetable notes – predominantly green beans – with the unripe melon notes and a sweeter aroma. The texture has become quite drying.
Steep 9, 10 minutes, the same as above.
Steeps 10 through to 15 gradually weakened out and didn’t reveal anything new.

I appreciated it as a tea. I’m not sure I liked it though.


Flavors: Green Beans, Melon, Vegetables

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 4 OZ / 110 ML

Sheng was an acquired taste for me, much like beer and coffee. Trying a wide variety of samples — different ages, different mountains, blends — from a range of vendors opened up my appreciation for a tea that can have immense complexities. It took a while to get used the range of characteristics but something clicked one day and I was hooked. Western-focused vendors tend to offer sheng that are immediately drinkable for inexperienced palates; maybe this tea isn’t one of them. It’s still young, too, in the timeline of puerh aging. Maybe my tastes have developed in a way such that I can look past a lot of the ‘greenness’ in young teas.

Sorry your experience wasn’t what I described mine to be! If you have a large sample, stash it away and come back to it when the time feels right.

Martin Bednář

A first pu-erh is bit different than others. I had Waffles from W2T, which was quite good, but I noticed different notes a bit too.

Just keep trying.


Thanks, both of you :) I’m not giving up, I’ll try and find some more small samples to try. This one was just a 5g sample included in a King Tea Mall teaware order.

I did a little research before drinking it so I had the idea that it would be vegetal and green in my mind from the start. I’m wondering if that also impacted my ability to taste any subtler notes.


I agree with derk, puerh takes some getting used to. Even though I love green tea and green oolongs, I’ve yet to acquire a taste for sheng…the bitterness is off-putting. But I do like shou puerh, which has a darker flavor. Like black tea without the maltiness.

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After a childhood of fresh ginger and lemon juice infusions, it was hard to imagine a tea bag living up to the rejuvenating flavour I love. But this one was quite good!

I’m still amazed at how real it tasted. It was like fresh lemon juice and zest with earthy ginger. I brewed it way too long the first time (3 minutes) and it was almost too strong to drink. 2:30 is about right to tame the acidity and fire.

It needs honey, a lot of honey.

The flavour isn’t amazing or even soothing… but it’s real. I respect that.

Also I’m noticing a huge difference in the boxes sold in the US and the UK. Not sure what acrobats with swimming hats has to do with lemon and ginger, but it’s nice to look at I guess.


Flavors: Earth, Ginger, Lemon Zest, Spicy

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

I totally agree! I drink this one as well. Mainly for digestion after dinner. It’s not amazing taste wise, but it is helpful.

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A British tea lover with the crazy idea that she can review every possible tea. Ever. Check out my blog to see my progress so far…

My all-time favourite tea brands that I go back to for a cup of comfort:
Whittard of Chelsea
English Tea Shop

I rate teas on a spreadsheet, giving marks out of 10 for:
Condition of the tea leaves/ingredients,
Quality of ingredients (e.g. artificial flavours or freshly dried fruit?),
Dry aroma,
Wet aroma,
Sensation (how does it make me feel?),
and Colour.
Then, with a little head scratching, I do the math and work out the score out of 100.

Open to tea swaps – even internationally!


Chelmsford, UK



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