592 Tasting Notes


I’ve heard about these Downton Abbey teas before and was always curious about them. So today when I was waiting for a bus, I quickly perused a small market nearby and bought this on impulse. I started watching the new season of Downton Abbey last week, so I found this an appropriate tea to sip on while watching another episode. Plus, it’s herbal, so I didn’t have to worry about my caffeine intake after dinner.

Anyway, on to the tea itself. As soon as the bag and water came into contact, it turned a deep red/purple. I can definitely taste the tartness from the hibiscus and the raspberry flavor. I’m not getting so much of a rose flavor, which was a bit disappointing since this is called “Rose Tea,” but if I put that fact aside, it’s not so bad. I am gonna wait to rate this until I try it iced, because I think it will be really nice as an iced tea. Or even a tea soda maybe!

Flavors: Berries


I was also disapointed about the lack of rose flavor.

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drank Hojicha by Adagio Teas
592 tasting notes

This morning was very hectic, so I’m sad to say that I neglected the TTB today. Instead, I reached for the closest hojicha I could find in my pantry because it’s usually the least fussy. While this one is not my favorite among my hojichas, it certainly did the trick. Hopefully I can continue to explore the TTB teas tomorrow.

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I was playing tourist today with some visitors and came across a really cool vegan/vegetarian, organic cafe. The people there seemed a tad snobby about it, but the food was delicious nonetheless. I also ordered this tea and was pleasantly surprised that it was served in a cast iron teapot with a cute, earthy-looking mug. This oolong was very roasty and had a smokiness about it that I don’t usually taste as strongly in oolongs. It was a bit oversteeped by the time it got to my table, but not very bitter. I really did enjoy it, so I asked about the company, and looked it up when I got home. Unfortunately, it looks like they only sell by the pound online? Yikes. I guess I’ll just have to go back to the cafe soon!


The pound? Yikes is right.

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drank Silk Dragon by The Tea Merchant
592 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #8
I spent a good part of my day at a brewery today, so suffice it to say, I had a lot of non-tea beverages today. Anyway, when I finally got home, I wanted a nice pot of tea to wind down with a bit, and this one looked so pretty in the bag that I just went for it. I goofed a bit and underleafed, so it was a bit watery, but I still got a very strong vanilla flavor. I don’t think I’ve ever had vanilla oolong (as opposed to vanilla black), but I found the combination quite nice. I’m glad to have this tea to cozy up with at the end of a long, cold day!

Flavors: Vanilla


As a beer lover I must ask – which brewery?

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Tea & Cards TTB #7
Finishing off the last 2 tsp left of this tea in the box to make a pot of this lovely tea. When I first opened and smelled the tea, I fell in love with it. It was like a floral wonderland in there. I was a little cautious, though, because yesterday I had a rose green tea that smelled amazing but tasted soapy. Now, I’ve never had Butiki before, but heard great things, and this tea held up! I can definitely taste the strong rose flavor, not so sure about violent or calendula, but I am not the best at teasing tastes apart. I will say that it is slightly more perfume-y than I’d like, but I think that the strong floral flavors pair very well with the more hidden oolong base. I’m putting this on my wishlist to remind myself to buy some when I eventually make a Butiki order!

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drank Jin Xuan Oolong Tea by Yezi Tea
592 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #6
I’ve had some teas from Yezi before and loved them, so I decided to try this one out from the box as well. Very vegetal with a buttery texture. On one of the steeps, I used water that was a bit cooler than I wanted and ended up getting almost a sweet corn-like taste. Definitely a fun tea to experiment with since it seems to be holding up through resteeping pretty well. I haven’t had a tea from the TTB that has let me down yet!

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drank Green Tea by Unknown
592 tasting notes

So yesterday I was at a cafe and ordered some rose green tea, thinking that it would be the perfect choice for Valentine’s Day. There were tea leaves scooped into some sort of disposable t-sac-like pouch and dumped into some hot water. It smelled deliciously rosy, but tasted like rose-flavored soap. Oh, well, at least it kept my hands warm for a bit. I have yet to find a convenient cafe to go to that actually cares about their tea a little more than just offering it on the menu as an alternative to coffee.

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Tea & Cards TTB #5
Backlog from yesterday. I so wanted to try more from the box yesterday, but had enough caffeine, so I snuck this one in, rationalizing that it probably had less caffeine anyway. It had a nice, light melon taste. I couldn’t really distinguish specific melon flavors (cantaloupe, honeydew, etc), but it wasn’t too overly artificial or perfume-y. Because the melon flavor wasn’t too overwhelming, I could also taste the grassy notes from the white tea itself. While I’m not a huge fan of grassy greens & whites, it was nice to see the base white tea flavor come out on its own for once.

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Tea & Cards TTB #4
Ok, so I maybe messed this one up a little by using water that was too hot (it’s hard to get things right at school). Nevertheless, it wasn’t as overly bitter because of the sweetness from the white chocolate flavors. I was nervous about this one tasting overly artificial because I saw that telltale greasiness on the top of the tea, but it was actually quite well done! I also tasted a slight frutiness maybe melon(?) that was tasty. It might be from the white tea- I just haven’t had enough straight white tea to be able to tell. In any case, I’m glad that I finally got to try a Della Terra tea! I’m definitely going to put in an order with them when I decide I can come off my tea-buying hiatus.

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drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
592 tasting notes

Tea & Cards TTB #3
I have to say that I’m surprised by all the low ratings on Steepster about this tea. Although I did notice that many of them are older, so maybe the tea changed a bit since then? Anyway, I decided to ignore the steeping parameters given by the packet and waited for my boiling water to cool a bit before steeping. I also did a quick rinse before my first steep and did not let the first steep sit as long as 2-3 min as suggested by the packet. All this resulted in a wonderfully floral but not artificially perfume-y oolong. The floral tastes transitioned smoothly into a nuttier, roastier taste toward the end of the sip. The tea also had a buttery feel. I actually really enjoyed this green oolong, and since there is a weirdly small amount left in the sample, I may just pull the rest of it from the TTB.

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I’m a California girl temporarily located in Boston for school (brrr). I only recently got into teas because I’ve never really liked coffee (too bitter), but I have been a daily barley tea drinker since I was little.

Through some timid tastings and exploring, I so far like:
-Japanese green teas (genmaicha, hojicha, sencha, etc)
-Oolongs! (Most kinds except formosa and dan cong so far)
-Straight black teas
-English Breakfast teas
-Fruity teas (peach, apple, strawberry, other berries)

NOT a huge fan of rooibos, matcha, heavily artificial tasting teas, or anything gingery or peppery, but I’m trying to keep an open mind and taste everything that I can!

I’m trying to sample more straight teas and have been having pretty awesome discoveries so far. Thank goodness for sample sizes!

My tentative rating system:
90-100: Woohoo! I’m loving it, and I’m definitely restocking when I get the chance and/or crying when I’m out.

80-90: Yum! I’ll try to restock if it fits in my budget when I run out.

70-80: Probably would not buy again, but it was nice enough to finish the cup.

50-70: Would not choose this tea for myself if given the situation, but would not reject it if someone offered it to me and would gulp down politely.

50 or less: Nope. Don’t care to taste that tea again, sorry!

I’m always down to swap, so send me a message if anything in my cupboard is calling your name!

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