615 Tasting Notes


There’s a very distinct smoky, leathery element in here, which I wasn’t sure about with the first sip, but ended up actually enjoying more than I thought I would. With the orange citrus adding a sweet and bright flavor, this reminds me a bit of an Earl Grey, or like a Kusmi spin off thereof.

What I learned from this: I actually think I might enjoy smoke with citrus. I ran into the same thing with Romanoff (American Tea Room), when they paired it with blood orange. It just works.

Thanks Shmiracles!

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

On my shopping list

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I think I’d like to reorder. But I’m going to hold off reordering this until at least summer, when it’s nice and warm out. It’s good and I always enjoy it when I have it, but I almost need to be in a particular mood to enjoy it.

190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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After Fiance and I finished the Cherry Limeade SBT in record time for us, I went for this one. And after cold steeping it overnight, I was really excited to try it!

I love it when excitement is well warranted. This really tastes like sherbet. Initally, I get lime, then orange, and then the raspberry, but the best moment is at the end of the sip where they all kind of come together and bcome a spoonful of guilt-free sherbet. It’s even a little creamy.

I personally didn’t add sugar because there’s a bit of natural sweetness, but I can’t see it as anything but delicious and even more sherbet-ty then.

(And only 5 more reviews till I hit 500! Yikes!)

Iced 8 min or more

500?! Wow! Starfevre just hit 500 today too! Congrats!

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This is actually an enjoyable cup. But it wasn’t what I was really expecting.

First, I’m really digging the base they use. It’s smooth, with a full body, and just a little malt. It’s not bitter, and just a bit astringent as the tea cools to room temperature.

The flavoring is where it was more unexpected. The first flavor I pick up isn’t peach or apricot, it’s lemon myrtle. It adds a pleasant amount of creamy and sweet lemon notes, but seems to dominate the peach and apricot on the whole. The stone fruits are relativly easy to differentiate from each other and don’t taste candy-like or cloying (or like peach gummies), and are pretty natural tasting, but don’t seem to set in until midtaste. These flavors blossom in your mouth and linger through the sip, though. I just wish they occurred sooner.

While I did like the tea well enough, and would drink it again if it was offered to me, I really just think it’s not quite a peach/apricot tea.

195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Atomic Lemon by Dammann Freres
615 tasting notes

I almost drank this last night at about 10pm, which would have been a huge, horrible mistake, because apparently there’s mate and green tea in here and I like sleep. But that makes it great for this morning.

In ways, I like this blend. The lemon is nice and there’s a bit of zip from the ginger. I actually really like the way the hibiscus was implemented here, too. It’s tart and adds to a real lemony feel without overpowering the whole cup or leaving the metallic taste I associate with hibiscus.

The cinnamon is kind of weird though. It adds a strange sort of sweetness and doesn’t really fit to me. It also seems to just be muddling what could have been a really crisp pick me up.

Thanks Shmiracles, I look forward to my mate induced energy spurt :)

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

ikr! that green little bag and the word tisane is a bit deceiving!! hah damn french tricksters. happy mate boost!


I made the same mistake and drank this at night! Another one of their tisanes also contained green tea.


Oh, my—this sounds wicked. My eyes are watering just thinking about it!

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drank Tiramisu by California Tea House
615 tasting notes

I’ve had a really weird relationship with this tea. I loved it for a while. And then I didn’t care for it al all, and now I’m back to thinking it’s okay.

I don’t necessarily care for the smell. It smells a bit like boozy rooibos, which isn’t all that attractive. It captures the coffee and dark cocoa (and rum) notes of tiramisu really well though, and has a nice creamy mouthfeel. The taste of rooibos tends to creep into each sip, but it never seems to get too cedar chippy. The aftertaste is rooibos, cocoa, and cream.

While I enjoy this one when I drink it, I won’t necessarily be sad when it’s finally sipped down.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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“…but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes; for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory.”

So I’m a bit of a Tolkien fanatic. It has been my fandom baby for forever and a bit longer. I have all the History of Middle Earth books, and I’m totally that person when it comes up in conversation.

When I was in high school, I spent a good amount of free time learning Quenya. It’s actually how my moraiwe handle came into being. I used to sign letters to my friends with it so they couldn’t be traced back to me (and they had their code names too (but one was Star Trek Voyager related and the other Harry Potter related. We were pretty awesome, what can I say?)

Fiance thinks I’m a bit mad, but I get a gleeful enjoyment when someone asks about my gamertag on XBL. It usually goes like:

“How do I say your gamertag?”
says name once or twice “But if you call me something that vaguely resembles it, I’ll probably respond”
“Err. So how’d you come up with that?”
“It’s Quenya for blackbird”
“It’s one of Tolkien’s Elvish languages.”
“Oh like in the movies?”
“No, that was Sindarin.”
“Hey. At least it’s not Telerin”

It’s way more fun when they ask where Tol Galen is.

This tea is actually pretty remarkable though. I was surprised at the depth the caramel offered when paired with the apricot and peach. The peach is mildly candy-like, but that’s offset by the dark caramel sugar notes, and the little bit of cinnamon that peaks midsip. The peach flavor lingers quite long after.

I couldn’t say quite why, but this tea is conjuring images of Celeborn and Thranduil meeting in the former Mirkwood after the fall of Dol Guldur and renaming it Eryn Lasgalen (The Wood of Greenleaves).

This is totally working for me.

Thanks again for your generosity in the samples Shmiracles!

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

too funny. it made me think of the kid from “Role Models” Except that kid does medieval reenactments. Is part of a society. You know… wears a cape, speaks like he thinks they did back then. I think I’m going to watch it again now that I thought of it. LOL


I’ve never seen that movie, but now I really kind of want to.

Terri HarpLady

This tea sounds amazing!


dude Role Models (aka Adult Mentors to my sister and I) is one of my favorite comedies. though i think I Love You Man is better, it doesn’t have Larping.

this is the best tea review. i am really happy with the Tolkien teas i ordered. they all taste just as good and interesting as they sounded in the descriptions. and it’s even better that i can share them with such a lisse melda.



(too much mate)


I had to go watch a couple clips on youtube after Role Models was mentioned here and it’s absolutely on my watch list now. His coffee sizing rant might be one of the best things ever.
Really though. Quenya is super awesome. It sounds like Finnish and Italian (or maybe French) had a really attractive baby.


Wow, I love how hard core of a Tolkien nerd you are!

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While I know I don’t necessarily care for this cold steeped (it gets a little overwhelmingly perfumed), I steeped with my usual parameters and let this chill today.

It’s actually incredibly good and a completely different experience to drinking this hot. Still very floral, but balanced and tempered with the white peony, which is almost juicy tasting. It’s almost like there’s pear or light apple in here, that just explodes with juicy freshness in my mouth.

In other news, it’s supposed to get above freezing next week for the first time since Christmas, and that is ridiculously exciting. If Fiance breaks out shorts though, I might disown him.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I never really intetionally jumped on health craze this berry had, but it’s been in so many things I’ve consumed and enjoyed (most frequently paired with blueberry it seems), that I wanted to at least jump on this!

Also. I decided it was smoothie time. I picked up a smoothie machine four or so years ago at a rummage sale and haven’t used it a whole lot. Fiance hates the sound of it (it sounds like a higher pitched blender), so I get the grumpy eye when I try to run it when he’s home.

So, I added 8 or so ice cubes, 14 oz of milk, (pretty much lined up to the appropriate ‘For Serving 2’ lines on the smoothie maker, honestly) and 2 tsp of matcha powder and gave it a pretty solid whirr. And wound up with a delicious, flavorful, frothy cup of happiness. (With an extra for Fiance).

The berry flavor is amazing. It’s like a cross between blueberries and blackberries, with the sweet tartness of blueberry, but the depth of blackberry. And it pairs really well with the subtle natural sweetness of matcha.

I really hope Fiance likes this as much as I did, because I really wouldn’t mind picking some up. And then maybe I can experiment and add frozen blueberries for a thicker smoothie. Ooooh. I’m excited.

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drank Muscat by Lupicia
615 tasting notes

I figured I’d keep the grape theme going this morning.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this one, though, because all grape flavoring winds up tasting like Children’s Dimeatapp to me, and I understandably don’t have amazing memories of that.

While the black tea tempers it some, this definitely came out on the cusp of natural and artifical flavoring, which I expected. Fortunately, the grape flavor was more like the Japanese grape candies my friends and I were obsessed with in high school, and not the American purple grape flavor that I associate with cough medicine.

I actually really like this. Maybe once my stash is of manageable size I’d pick more of this up, but it isn’t something I need right away.

Boiling 2 min, 45 sec

Lmao, I can imagine cough syrups have ruined the grape and cherry flavours for a lot of people.

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Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



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