85 Tasting Notes


I haven’t been drinking flavored teas lately and decided to purchase this little treasure at Richmond’s number one tea shop (salon de thé), Carytown Teas, which is the primary supplier for several cafes and hotels in the city. Patricia’s Blend is the creation of the shop’s kind and talented owner, Patricia Guillouard Adams, a native of France.

“Sweet and spicy, like its namesake”, as the shop’s description of the tea states, is right on point. The almond’s nutty sweetness, suggestive of vanilla, blends perfectly with the orange and spice. The flavors meld beautifully in the fruity organic Ceylon black tea base. As with most French blends that I have had, nothing is overdone. It is superb – My favorite flavored blend bar none.

So, Patricia, mon amie, I raise my mug and salute you – À votre santé! Merci!

Flavors: Almond, Cinnamon, Citrus, Clove, Fruity, Nutty, Orange, Spices, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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It’s a rainy weekend here in the Old Dominion. Rainy weekends call for cozy teas, and man oh man this is one cozy tea! I’m watching an old Jimmy Stewart movie on Turner Classics and sipping this. It’s very smooth with lots of natural sweetness. Lovely notes of caramel, honey and burnt sugar. Nice and malty. No rough edges whatsoever. I love that it’s organic too!

Flavors: Burnt Sugar, Caramel, Honey, Malt, Smooth, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

We are getting the same around Blacksburg today as well. Good tea drinking weather though. Agree as TCM rocks and so does AMC.


I love AMC too. In fact, I’m watching Forrest Gump on AMC right now. You just can’t beat watching classic movies and drinking comfort teas on a rainy weekend. Here in Richmond, we’re in for heavy rain at times through Sunday night and more rain Monday. I’m loving it!


It’s been cool and wet just west of the Virginia state line today. I wish I could have stayed home watching Jimmy Stewart films, but I’ve been out on a crisis call. Just out of curiosity, which movie was it?


More accurately, it was a Hitchcock film. It was Jimmy Stewart in the Hitchcock classic Rear Window by way of TCM online. Love Hitchcock! Love Jimmy Stewart! A double treat for me today.


Great film! That’s long been a favorite of mine.

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Nothing like a cozy camomile with which to settle in for the evening. Nice, with sweet vanilla and honey flavors. I added a bit of wildflower honey (I so love honey) that brought out a pleasant butterscotch flavor. Yummy!

Flavors: Butterscotch, Honey, Sweet, Vanilla

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Love it when you can find a great, easy-to-find grocery store tea. Will have to chase this down locally.


Oh, I love this one! Its been too long since I had it.


This is one of my top camomile teas. You just can’t go wrong with Twinings! :)

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“Autumn Flush: The Best Darjeeling Tea You’ll (Likely Never) Taste” smugly proclaimed an October ’16 Tea Tuesday NPR story. Boulderdash! Shame on you NPR. This plain old Virginia boy has just imbibed the autumnal nectar of the Darjeeling gods!

The dry leaf had a sweet, sugarcane aroma with a suggestion of dried fruit. I used a rounded teaspoon (1.25 tsp) to 8oz of spring water. I use only spring water for fine Darjeeling. The suggested steeping time was 2-3 minutes. I steeped for 2 minutes and 45 seconds at the recommended temperature of 95C. The result was a very richly flavored Darjeeling. There was a red wine sweetness reminiscent of a fine dessert wine with notes of dates, black figs and wildflowers. Positively splendid! Hands down one of the greatest Darjeelings I’ve ever had. And NPR said it would most likely never happen. Ha! Piffle! Stuff and nonsense!

I love What-Cha Teas. They are simply the best! Very fast international shipping. Plus a much appreciated kind and thoughtful note from Alistair, who happened to mention that Red Thunder Darjeeling is one of his personal favorites. He also included a generous sample of a Nepali tea that I cannot wait to try. Thank you, Alistair!

Flavors: Dates, Fig, Flowers, Red Wine, Sugarcane, Sweet

2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

The description of the tea was well worth reading on the tea’s main steepster page.

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I happened upon this one at my local tea shop this afternoon. I’ve been experiencing the GI joys of diverticulitis and recently read that green tea can be helpful for that condition. Green tea seems to be quite the panacea, effective for a multitude of miseries.
What a wonderful medicinal – No spoonful of sugar needed to help this medicine go down!

The dry leaf smell is sweet and mildly floral. As the tea steeps the aroma is very strongly evocative of oolong. The flavor too suggests oolong, along with floral notes of chrysanthemums and wildflower blossoms with a bit of honey. There is a mild vegetal note – Just enough to remind you that it’s a green tea you’re drinking.
I was a little leery about the 190F brewing temperature, but no bitterness. I used 3 generous teaspoonfuls for a 16 ounce pot and steeped for four minutes.

Yunnan Orchid Green is a lovely green tea – One of the very best I’ve had. My tummy feels better already.

Flavors: Flowers, Honey, Sweet, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Wow, 100!


It really is a glorious green! :)

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drank Lover's Leap by Harney & Sons
85 tasting notes

I tried Lover’s Leap many years ago—Stash Tea I think. I never thought it was that good. It was too lemony for me.

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drank Assam Breakfast by Zhi Tea
85 tasting notes

Oh my! This is a delightful Assam tea. I’m getting lots of sweet stone fruit flavors of bright cherry and deep, ripe plum. It’s pleasantly malty and smooth – Very smooth. There are no bitter notes or rough edges, only a pleasant astringency typical of Assams. Overall the tea was creamy and sweet. I detected a smidge of cocoa.
For those who are Assamaphobic, this Assam would be a safe choice – Sturdy, but oh so gentle and completely delicious!
Thanks for the sample, Josh! I loved every sip!

Flavors: Cherry, Cocoa, Creamy, Plums, Smooth, Stonefruits, Sweet

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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“If you are cold, tea will warm you;
if you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.”
-William Ewart Gladstone

“Anyone who has used that comforting phrase ‘a nice cup of tea’ invariably means Indian tea.” – George Orwell

I am definitely a Darjeeling kind of guy with a strong preference for Indian and Ceylon tea.

Darjeeling, the apotheosis of tea!
Darjeeling tea is at the very top of my favorite tea list. It’s the tea that first inspired me to delve deeper into the wide, wonderful world of tea – My first love, so to speak. Darjeeling will forever reign supreme in my tea pantry! I love all Darjeeling flushes for their unique characteristics. Margaret’s Hope second flush Darjeeling, my first Darjeeling, has a very special place in my heart. Arya Diamond first flush Darjeeling form Vahdam is the best first flush that I have had so far. Margaret’s Hope first flush Darjeeling is another extraordinary first flush. Gopaldhara Red Thunder Gold autumn flush Darjeeling from What-Cha is nothing short of spectacular and another must have Darjeeling. Makaibari Estate first and second flush organic Darjeeling teas, Glenburn Darjeeling Autumn Crescendo, Jungpana second flush Darjeeling and Darjeeling Namring Upper second flush are other favorites.

Other teas that I especially enjoy:

Black Tea -

High and Mid Grown Ceylon Tea
Nilgiri Frost Tea
Sikkim Tea
Second Flush Assam Tea
Nepali Tea
Keemun Tea
Orthodox Kenyan Tea

Oolong Tea -

Darjeeling Oolong
Si Ji Chun “Four Seasons” Oolong
Formosa Oolong
Bao Zhong Oolong
Wuyi Oolong
Tieguanyin Oolong
Dong Ding Oolong
Ruby Oolong
Milk Oolong

Green Tea -

Jasmine Green Tea
Mao Feng Green Tea
Yunnan Green Tea
Pinhead Gunpowder Green Tea
Sencha Green Tea
Houjicha Japanese Green Tea
Flavored Fruity Green Teas – Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry, Mandarin.

White Tea -

I also quite enjoy most white teas, especially Bai Mudan and Silver Needle. Kenya “Rhino” Premium White Tea from What-Cha is amazing. Royal Wedding from Harney & Sons is a fantastic flavored white blend.

Flavored teas that I particularly enjoy:
Black Currant
Cinnamon / Spice
Orange / Citrus
Bergamot – Earl Grey
I positively adore all florals – Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Lavender and Violet.
Love smoky teas too – Lapsang Souchong and Russian Caravan.

As far as herbals go, I really love camomile and rooibos. Honeybush, anise and peppermint tisanes are extremely good too. I actually enjoy a fairly wide variety of herbal teas, especially in the evening.

Ardent Anglophile that I am, I am unquestionably devoted to British tea culture which is quite reflective of my tea preferences. Love a good old English Breakfast blend!

I very seldom add sugar to my tea, although I do occasionally love a bit of honey and a jot of milk in my breakfast cup.

I choose organic tea whenever possible.

Favorite Vendors – Top 40:
Carytown Teas
Arbor Teas
Bellocq Tea Atelier
Vahdam Tea
Rishi Tea
Harney & Sons
Kusmi Tea
Steven Smith Teamaker
Simpson & Vail
Mark T. Wendell Tea Company
Grace Tea Company
Mandala Tea
The American Tea Room
Fortnum & Mason
The English Tea Store
Whispering Pines
Culinary Teas
Zhi Tea
Silk Road Teas
Happy Earth Tea Company
A Quarter to Tea
The Tao of Tea
Single Origin Teas
Capital Teas
Mariage Frères
Upton Tea Imports
Palais des Thés
New Mexico Tea Company
The Tea Table
Tin Roof Teas
The Whistling Kettle
The Tea Spot
Tea Trekker
Golden Moon Tea Company
Stash Tea Company
Numi Tea

Rating Guide:

I only review and rate teas that I especially enjoy. Life is too short and time is too dear to dwell on subpar tea!
In my opinion, anything below 70 is not something that I would tend to keep in my tea pantry. That said -

100 = Perfection/Tea Nirvana – Teas that I cannot live without and will always be in my tea pantry forever and ever. Amen!
90-99 = Excellent tea! I will definitely keep this one around to enjoy regularly. An essential pantry staple.
80-89 = Very good! Tasty tea. Would gladly drink again but not necessarily on a regular basis. Could still, perhaps, be found in my tea pantry.
70-79 = Good, but nothing that sparkles. Most likely would not worry about keeping this one around as a staple.

Tea is my passion. It has become so much more than a hobby. For me, tea is a way of life. I do tinker around a bit with blending teas. My first blend, Virginia Breakfast, a blend of Imperial Keemun and a second flush Darjeeling, is sold at a wonderful French tea shop – salon de thé :) – here in Richmond. My own small claim to tea fame.

I work in the medical field – Charge nurse of an advanced dementia and hospice care unit. I am also a dementia care training instructor, so I stay pretty busy. I have a multitude of interests. Strong advocate of LGBT rights and animal welfare! I’m a big time lover of cats! I love jazz, blues, classic rock, opera and Russian symphonic music, classic cinema, cooking (vegetarian), gardening, gemology, vulcanology, history – Especially English history. Passionate Anglophile! Love to travel (When I can afford to). Love England, France (Paris is heaven!), Canada and the American South. Love day trips to D.C., the beach and Shenandoah Valley of my beautiful Virginia. I am fascinated by Australia. Aviation is another major interest – Love my flight simulator. I love baseball. Enjoy swimming and bowling. Ardent bibliophile as well – Vast and eclectic library!

“While there’s tea there’s hope.” — Sir Arthur Wing Pinero


Richmond, Virginia, USA

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