615 Tasting Notes

drank Currantly Cordial by SerendipiTea
615 tasting notes

Tea #52 from HHTTB2

It looks like there’s red rooibos in here (and I’m 99% sure that’s what it is), settled at the botton of the baggie, but the ingredients say nothing of the sort. I didn’t get in my teaspoon, but just as a head’s up for the fellow anti-rooibos guild members.

Once steeped up, this smells strongly of berry and cocoa. And the taste is very much currant. The chocolate isn’t really pronounced, but does add an overall depth to the cup. There is definitely rooibos in this blend, because the medicinal taste is absolutely coming through in the latter part of the sip.

I don’t know if the rooibos in this sample baggie from SerendipiTea was a mistake or actually a part of the blend, but to me, it would be so much better without.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Tea #51 from HHTTB2

Aaaand the last tea with rose petals (that I’ll be trying) in the box.

After some Google-fu on this tea, I’m guessing BrewTEAlly Sweet picked this up at the Farmers’ Market, as that seems to be the presence that Our Sweet Earth has. I’ve intended to get more involved with buying from our local Farmer’s Market. But it’s kind of a zoo, and my anxiety doesn’t really fare well in that environment. I don’t feel too guilty, though, as the grocery store we visit often sells local produce too. Anyway. Not really sure about the tea. Either way I’m excited to try it.

This tea has a very strong, smooth vanilla flavor. The rose adds a sweet, very slight floral. And something fruity and a little juicy? Not sure where that came from, but maybe some contamination from the box? It’s actually pretty tasty in here, though. So I’m not complaining.

Not my favorite vanilla tea, but still quite good.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
BrewTEAlly Sweet

I just keep stocking up on this one. It was my very first loose leaf tea I had ever tried a few years back, and idk but I can’t let it go, since I moved I am still able to order it from home:) she ships it to me:)


That’s awesome! What a great introduction to tea :)

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Tea #50 from HHTTB2

This tea totally just looks classy and tastes fancy.

It’s a lightly fruity, definitely floral, with very subtle elements of almond and biscuit/pastry. The base pairs perfectly with the more delicate flavors here, and is smooth and not at all bitter. Every component of this tea was clearly thought through and tweaked to make a masterfully blended cup.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

It’s impressive, isn’t it?

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drank Blueberry Limón by Handmade Tea
615 tasting notes

Tea #49 from HHTTB2

Visually, there’s a lot going on in the dry blend. Big, plump blueberries and chunks of lemon rind . And quite a bit of both. I don’t really smell the smoke in the blend, but that could be a product of it’s travels in a giant cardboard box. Who knows. What I do smell is lemon/citrus.

Once I brewed this up? Oh. There’s the smoke.

It’s not like lapsang smoke, where’s it’s like getting thwumped with a burning log. (Or the whole fire dempending on the Lapsang, I suppose). But it’s definitely got some Keemun-esque smoke going on here. It pretty much overpowers all the other elements in the cup.

With sugar added in, I get something that reminds me of a lemon rubbed charred chicken breast. Better, but still not terribly good. I taste a slight blueberriness in the back of the sip. So now I have charred lemon chicken with blueberry compote. Not exactly what I was hoping for.

And back into the giant cardboard box it goes.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Matcha Kirara Rice by Lupicia
615 tasting notes

Tea #48 from HHTTB2

This cup brews up the brightest spring green I’ve ever seen. (It is almost exactly this: http://bit.ly/1aDM5S5 color.) So it looks a little weird and out of place in my blue snowman mug. But whatever.

Genmaicha is like ye old standby tea in our house. When neither Fiance nor I know what we feel like drinking? Genmaicha. That said, we usually have a bit of it floating around. (As an aside, I’ve been cooking with it lately too. Makes an excellent soba noodle broth. Nom.) And genmai + matcha has been my more recent go-to in those situations. So I’m always excited to try some more!

There’s no bitterness in my cup, and the flavor is warming, roasty, and flavorful, but I wish there was more sweet, grassy green veggie flavor in here. I think the matcha flavor comes through better in Den’s version. American Tea Room makes a pretty solid Genmaimatcha, too. This one misses some of the brothy notes I get from those too.

If you go to genmaicha for primarily the roasty rice notes, though, this is definitely a cup to consider.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank S'mores Chai by 52teas
615 tasting notes

Tea #47 from HHTTB2

I am so insanely addicted to the TV show Once Upon a Time lately. Like. I can’t stop watching this. It’s like the illegitimate offspring of daytime TV and Disney.

But anyway. This tea.

I made it as I do most chai (when I don’t feel like dirtying a pot). So a tsp of sugar, 6oz milk, 1 tsp tea/2 oz water at the below time and temp.

But man. I wish I had known this had Lapsang in it. I probably would have passed it over.

When hot, I just couldn’t kill the smoke note. It was like a BBQ on the back of my tongue everytime I swallowed. Urk.

As the tea started cooling, the smokyness lessened and it bacame a slightly chocolatey, creamy cinnamon chai basically. That’s more s’more-y for sure!

I’ll skip rating, as I know that Lapsang isn’t at all to my taste. But I think I would have enjoyed this without it in there.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

It’s ok. I love it when a show comes around that sends me into such state. I’m currently addicted to “Hostages”. I’ll watch the recorded episodes over and over until a new one airs. Am disgusted with myself … Lol


I just found this show on Netflix a couple weeks ago and I’m trying to tear through the first two seasons as faaaaast as I can so I can catch the third (current) season on Hulu as soon as possible. It’s really kind of tragic lol.

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Tea #46 from HHTTB2

Crisp, clean jasmine with a sweet, buttery green base. Balanced flavors, without an overpowering jasmine. Yum.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec

It’s been a while since I’ve had this one. I’ll have to find it in my pantry and make myself a cup.

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drank Lost Malawi by Rare Tea Company
615 tasting notes

Tea #45 from HHTTB2

This tea reminds me of a lot of other teas, but doesn’t match any of them exactly.

It has:
-The floral, fruity highlights of a Darjeeling. But they’re much deeper.
-The sweetness of a Yunnan, only not as pronounced or refined.
-The maltiness of an Assam, only not quite as thick on the tongue.
-And the slight roasiness of Keemun, but comes across more earthy than smoky.

So, despite my brain’s inability to place this tea, it’s very, very good. The flavors are well-rounded and balanced and it’s smooth. There’s a slight drying on my tongue, but no bitterness or anything of that sort.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tea #44 from HHTTB2

A rather subdued EG flavor. I was expecting more punchiness from the bergamot. The cream part was played well, a nutty vanilla flavor that was both rich and smooth. Thankfully, I didn’t get much flavor in the way of coconut. I feel that would have been out of place here. I do think that’s where the nutty depth came from in the vanilla, though. Not an exceptional tea, but not bad either. Definitely a middle of the road kind of EGC.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Kanpe Tea by DAVIDsTEA
615 tasting notes

Tea #43 from HHTTB2

Pft. Delicately spiced. Liars.

The hibiscus is strong in this tea, but surprisingly not offputting. It doesn’t have the mustiness and copperiness that sometimes comes with it. The tea is tart, but with fruity sweetness.

I like this a good deal more than I was expecting. Probably because it tastes like mulled wine.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

I like it iced!

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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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