343 Tasting Notes

My husband received an array of bagged Stash teas from a coworker for the holidays (in a mug which was the only thing he was interested in). He gave me the teas.

This wasn’t too shabby! Usually, I’m not the biggest fan of mint teas, but this wasn’t overpowering; it was pretty smooth. Pardon my briefness, I had this at work about 8 hours ago at this point. I got a decent first steep out of my bag, tried a second – a no go. Not something I would expect from your typical bagged tea in any case. Anyway, this is good and I’d accept another bag but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase.


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(This was generously sent by Nicole quite awhile ago)

I’m trying to get through some of my older samples as I have quite a few thanks to swaps and traveling tea boxes. Also, I was working from home today which allowed me to use my variable kettle.

This is so tasty and manages to last for several steepings (I got 3 today). It’s almost syrupy, but in a good way. I didn’t manage a sipdown today and will probably get a few more cups out of the sample I received but definitely a good one if you like coconut and oolong!

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Sugar and Spice by DAVIDsTEA
343 tasting notes

Apparently, it’s about to snow again so a cup of this seemed rather fitting. I think this cup tastes the best of any time I’ve had it or maybe it’s just that I don’t remember it all that well, but it’s delicious. 2 Teavana perfect teaspoons (which I think are more like 1.5 tsp), 7 minute steep and some sweetener. It’s a bit creamy and spicy but not overpowering. I have just a tiny bit left of what my husband brought back from Montreal but then, of course, I also have that huge bag that I recently bought so I have plenty to enjoy!

200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I hope this doesn’t come off as ranty, but I’m using the chance combinations to do a tasting note of Herbal Infusions Cacao Tea and a few teaspoons of a random tub of cacao nibs I bought at Home Goods.

After trying the HI Cacao Tea, I did some research regarding cacao and the chocolate making process. Apparently, the husks that they are using for their tea are a byproduct of the chocolate making process; the cocoa beans are roasted and the husks/shells are sloughed off, leaving the inner nib that’s processed further into chocolate. Apparently, it’s very common that the husks/shells are sold as mulch ridiculously cheap. We’re talking 22 pounds for under $25 (not affiliated http://www.amazon.com/National-Cocoa-Shell-BLCH001-Blommer/dp/B000VYL2CA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394904677&sr=8-1&keywords=cocoa+shell+mulch).

So, I wouldn’t necessary go out and buy mulch and make it into tea cause it wasn’t made specifically for human consumption, but the idea of spending so much on something that is sold so cheaply for other purposes seems really unnecessary to me.

I’ve taken a liking to the HI cacao tea and I actually find I like it even more mixed with the cacao nibs I bought. I’m too lazy at the moment to run downstairs, but it was a 8oz tub of organic nibs for $8.

I think though, that one could get a very similar result from buying whole cacao beans (included their shells) that were roasted (and specifically sold for human consumption) and using some kind of food processor to grind them up coarsely to use for tea. If you only like the husks, you can apparently, peel them by hand or by using some type of rolling pin, but I am super lazy and I like it all mixed together anyway. I found a few youtube videos that outlines that process; what’s funny, is these are all chocolate making videos and the husks are thought of as the waste in the process!

Just my two cents!


nice experiment! :)

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This is surprisingly good, though I did sweeten it so the mango flavor was pretty evident. I brought a whole bunch of bagged teas to work to get through them as I prefer loose leaf at home. Anyway, this didn’t get bitter even when using the office’s hot water (where I can’t tell the temperature). I used the same bag for 2 cups and it held up pretty well. Not something I would seek out, but maybe with a sale or something, I wouldn’t mind it again. I think I have 1 more bag and than I’ll be out.

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Semi-sipdown for this as I’ve finished off my first 2oz of it that I bought in 2013 but I have another 2oz from the Heavenly sale from January. As I say in all of my tasting notes of this tea, sweetened it tastes like raspberry jolly ranchers. I’ve been drinking it more lately as I’ve noticed the bag has been emptying and that still holds true but I think I’m a bit raspberry jolly-ranchered out for the moment.

I’m thinking of making it iced this summer, but it’s still cold enough for hot tea for the time being.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I bought a sampler of Zhenas Gypsy tea a few months ago and I carry it around with me whenever I travel. Today was an especially trying travel day. I left my house at 5am and I got to the hotel in the destination city at 7pm (or 9pm in my normal time zone). So, to unwind, this seemed like the perfect option. I wouldn’t really call this chocolate chai, but it’s a nice smooth blend that doesn’t scream rooibos. Now I’m going to bed!

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This is another tea I picked up in my recent Wegmans haul. It’s very reasonably priced ($39.99 per pound) and the tin that was at my local store had extra large leaves; not broken up dusty leaves. One of the things I like about the bulk tea is that you can be extra certain that your leaves are in peak condition!

Anyway, it’s super light so even filling up a good third of the bag, only resulted in just under an ounce which cost… $1 – pretty awesome!

This is a nice slightly buttery white tea with hints of peach. You definitely get peach in the aroma and a little in the taste, a hint of sweetener brought it out a bit more. It’s not bitter though I did err on the side of caution and only used 175 degree water. Really really nice and I can see myself repurchasing when I finish the sample I have.

It works to about the same price as the Adagio version but you don’t have to buy boatloads of tea to get free shipping, a major plus!

175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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Thanks to Dexter3657 for this sample!

I had this last night. I’m leaving for a business trip in a couple short days and I have been so busy and working long hours so excuse my tasting notes – they may be a bit chaotic!

Anyway, what I remember about this is it smells exactly like brownie batter which is pretty awesome, but although I steeped for nearly 30 minutes, I still had to add sweetener to get it chocolatey. It was palatable without sweetener, but nowhere near the other reviews. I also think this would benefit from over-leafing.

Also, I’m now going to just buy the 7oz bag of organic cacao husks that I find at my local super market ($12.99) or see at Home Goods ($10) every time I go. I’d like to try the flavored versions from Herbal Infusions, but this is just plain cacao husks right? This can be gotten a lot cheaper.

3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank My Morning Mate by Teavana
343 tasting notes

So I picked this up unsniffed, untested from the Teavana Heavenly sale this year. It is surprisingly good! Slightly chocolatey, a hint of fruit, but not so citrus that it smacks you in the face and nutty. I technically used 2.5 teaspoons and some sweetener and resteeped it this morning. Apparently, my memory isn’t so great since I don’t remember more than that, but it was good!

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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I recently discovered loose leaf tea and am already addicted (much to my husband’s dismay)! I prefer fruity teas iced and savory teas hot. Looking forward to drinking and chatting.

Some likes/dislikes I’ve been noticing:

Fruity White Teas
lighters Blacks
Most Oolongs (especially greener varieties)
dessert teas
tisanes iced that don’t require added sweetener

Spicy flavors unless in chai
astringent black teas
heavy ginger teas
teas with licorice (as primary ingredients – somehow I like some where the licorice is in the back drop)
heavily oxidized oolongs

For my own reference, I’m only placing “full size” teas in my cupboard.



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