94 Tasting Notes

drank Mandarin Matcha by 52teas
94 tasting notes

I’ve found that it’s really hard to compare this to plain, unflavored matcha—they’re two different animals. Even though Mandarin Matcha isn’t the same as regular matcha, it’s still wonderful in its own way. The powder is olive green, rather than the bright, radioactive green of fresh matcha. I’m guessing the color is due to the pulverized dried orange that is mixed in with the matcha, and not just the quality of the matcha itself. The smell is flowery and sweet.

Today I’m using two scoops and 4 ounces of hot water. The color of the tea is a murky green, and quite a bit different from that characteristic jade green color of regular matcha tea. Mandarin Matcha does not foam, no matter how hard or how long I whisk it. Only a few weak bubbles appear at the surface.

The taste is a bit weaker and sweeter than regular matcha is at this concentration. I’m guessing this is because of the orange that’s mixed in with the matcha dilutes it. The orange taste is light and not artificial tasting. There is a strange sharpness or sourness near the back/middle of my tongue, but it’s bearable. Happily, there is no bitterness.

In exchange for the orange note, you do lose some of the vegetal/grassy flavor of regular matcha. At the same time, there is an interesting blossomy component to it that I didn’t taste in the plain matcha I have on hand. And oh, the smell! The smell of Mandarin Matcha is divine. Juicy orange, tart and sweet, cream, and matcha.

I think it’s a good change of pace from regular matcha. The novelty of the orange flavor certainly makes it worth trying. While I don’t know if I’d consider it the best matcha I’ve ever had, it has earned a place in my cabinet.


SO glad to see the rating go up!=D Although I must admit a part of me was hoping that a lack there of would lead you to share the wealth lol. My one bag is going all too fast, but I can’t wait to see what flavors they do next!


Mandarian matcha… I’m nabbing those packets the moment they are back up on 52teas! Oh yeah, what does it come in? A tin? The pouches?


Ricky – The matcha comes in the same pouches as the other 52teas.


I just hope they change the preparation suggestions.

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Huh. Today this actually hit the spot. It is very sweet, but it’s not “yucky” the way my last cup was. At the same time, this was so sweet that I had to chase it down with some water. I definitely won’t repurchase, but I may be able to at least finish off the carton.

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Sadness! I’ve tried this twice so far using my Zarafina, and I never got the caramel taste. Instead, I got smokiness—almost like the black tea version of Shanti by The Simple Leaf. The cup I made at the “green” Zarafina setting was not bitter at all and went down easily without sugar or milk—a rarity for me. I didn’t get to taste the tea made at “Oolong” setting until 5-6 hours after it had been brewed, and it was cold and super bitter (there was a lone tea leaf in my mug, so maybe it kept steeping).

Sigh. I need a thermometer, I guess.


It doesn’t say what the temperatures are supposed to be for the different settings? That’s a bummer. But yeah, with the caramel thing [and may my losing of the caramel and nearly full-tin journey to regain it bear gravity to this statement] it’s requires some rather strict adherence to the parameters. If you really want to get it I’d measure out your water, too. That was the killer for me – the 11 oz. to 1.5-ish teaspoon deal.


I’m having problems getting it to the caramel stage too.. but I’m sure we’ll get there!

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drank Chamomile by Trader Joe's
94 tasting notes

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drank Jasmine Green Tea by Trader Joe's
94 tasting notes

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drank Irish Breakfast by Trader Joe's
94 tasting notes

This is the first “plain” Irish Breakfast tea I’ve had (that I can remember) and I have say…I am not fan. It brewed up very dark and looked like coffee, which is neat. Surprisingly it wasn’t bitter at all.

But the flavor….gag me. I love English Breakfast and black teas, but this just didn’t work for me. To me, it smells and tastes like salty yams and garbage. Someone else’s tasting note said “sewage”, ha. I had tried Adagio’s Aries blend, and it had the same yucky taste, which I assumed was from the chai…nope. It must have been from the Irish Breakfast mixed in.

If this is was “malty” tastes like…well, I don’t think I like malt, then.


Eep. Not having tried this tea, I can’t speak to how I think it rates as a malt taste, but malt is often used in milkshakes, and some beers are malted. Erm…whoppers are malted, too. If you’ve ever had those Carnation instant breakfast things they can take on a malty taste.

Knowing this from listening to a recent podcast that was coincidentally discussing malt, malt is comprised of barley grains that have been soaked in water until they sprout. Then it is dried before they grow into actual plants and is ground up to make malt powder. Something to do with releasing certain sugars.

I need a shooting star with the tinkly music. The More You Know!

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drank Caramel by Adagio Teas
94 tasting notes

I’ve been on a milk tea kick lately, so I thought I’d open up this tin and churn out a tasting note. What can I say? It tastes a whole lot like caramel, and not much like anything else. The caramel is similar in taste to homemade, slightly-burnt, caramelized sugar. The caramel flavor component is quite strong and can be easily detected by tongue, but it balances well with the black tea flavor. Luckily, the tea doesn’t taste fruity the way Adagio’s black base often tastes. It’s just a nice, solid black tea flavor that supports the caramel. It is a bit astringent (drying) but not particularly bitter. However, I would imagine that oversteeping this one would lead to a very bitter cup.

I know some teas are all smell and no flavor. Adagio’s Caramel is not one of those teas. This tastes just as much like caramel as it smells. With a little milk and sweetener, it’s almost as though someone melted a milk caramel and stirred it into some black tea.

While there’s not a lot going on in this tea, I rather like it. It’s simple, and seems like it would be great for mixing with other teas.


It’s awesome mixed with Adagio’s Cream black tea..


I was JUST thinking that! Cream is the only other Adagio black I have liked so far…I think because they don’t taste as cardboard-fruity to me, especially when made with a little cooler water.


Both of those are my adagio favorites!


Umm cream + caramel… sounds like Adagio’s Birthday Blend =P


Except no vanilla, yay! (Vanilla gives me a headache…I haven’t tried Adagio’s vanilla yet, though.)


Sounds delicious!

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Just made a super-sweet dessert shake using this. I mixed milk, a very ripe banana, some egg custard powder, and a scoop of this in a blender. It came out very sweet so I’ll probably forgo the custard powder next time, or use less. This would probably be better with ice, too. I’m actually going to try and make a banana matcha custard out of this…I wonder if it will work.


Try it and let us know how it goes? =P

So this is how you’re using up all that matcha =P


Hehe! Well, so far, I microwaved it (it’s cook and chill custard powder) and it exploded all over my poor microwave :O but it smells sooooo good. Like green tea bananas foster, or something :)


the latte/frappe mix also has sugar in it, sometimes if one of the smoothies or blends turns out to be too sweet you can switch to regular matcha to reduce the sweetness. this sounds like a great idea :) let us know how it turns out!


Aww poor microwave indeed. Hey at least now the inside smells amazing… er until it spoils.

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drank Tazo Chai by Tazo
94 tasting notes

Had a bit too much to drink last night at a party I helped throw, and then had to get up super early this morning to make it to my volunteer shift. Factor in menstrual cramps, walking through the freezing morning cold to get to my job, party clean up duty, a ton of catch-up homework I have to do, and an nerve wracking interview this afternoon, today just might be the worst day ever. So, I heated up a cup of chai, hoping it would make things a little better….and, I didn’t even get to drink it because I had to go and clean up after the party. I just got back, and now I have a cold cup of chai sitting on my desk. Sadness. Well, it still tastes okay, but it’s not quite hitting the spot. The spices are coming through surprisingly well, considering I only steeped it for 3 minutes and used a lot of milk. Lots of cinnamon. It doesn’t seem as special as I remember it being. At least it’s a lot better than that Adagio Aries blend monstrosity.

I have to wonder…am I losing my taste for chai?


Awwww, you should have just let Shantea take over. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day!


Based on the day you had, I’m surprised it tasted this good. Chalk it up to all the “bad day” factors.

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drank Valentines by Adagio Teas
94 tasting notes

Oh hai, Adagio tea! Sorry for not visiting recently, I’ve been really busy with school and have been spending most of my time at my friend matcha’s house. Anyway, how’s it going? Oh hey, so, since I have so much of you, I think I’m going to use a little more than a teaspoon this time. Is that okay? Gosh, I hate treating you this way….it’s not like I want to get rid of you or anything…it’s just that we need some time apart, you know? I just feel like you’re suffocating me whenever I look over to the cupboard and see you sitting there, glaring at me. I think having a little room to expand and unfurl and steep will be good for both of us.

Anyway, I’ve thought maybe I’d turn the temperature down a little, since there’s so much of you in the basket. Oh my gosh, no I am not calling you fat! Aww, now you’re being all sweet to me…thanks Valentines. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to call you a tin of ground up cardboard disguised as tea. I’m so glad you’re not all bitter over that either. You’re style seems so different at this temperature…you’re kind of fruity, kind of clean even. Wow, this temperature really suits you! Maybe this won’t be the end of our relationship, after all…

Edit: Wait, duh Shanti, there’s some residual milk in my cup that I forgot about. No wonder this is so much smoother and less bitter than I remember. Sigh. I thought you were different…

190 °F / 87 °C

Valentines, I called you garbage and I tossed you out the door the first opportunity I had. Farewell, good riddance. Glad to be done with this tea =]

Fwahah, wonder’s whose suffering with my Valentines now. I tossed it into the TTB.


Hahahaha! This cracked me up! (And that steeping basket totally makes its butt look big).


Tea hee!!!


Awww, the tea gave you a fake-out! :( But yeah, Adagio samples are the samples that keep on giving… and giving… long after you want to be rid of them!


LOL…this post cracked me up! I have too many Adagio samples giving me the stink eye. The TTB needs to hurry my way, so I can toss them in!


haha. awesome, the ttb is now a dumping grounds for forlorn Adagio samplers. though i do have to say i’m not a fan of their valentines either. you’re all excited for it and then…..meh, letdown. :/


Haha, I was nice. I only threw one Adagio sampler into the box. I have a bunch of them sitting in my cupboard, just going lalala, someone take me!

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28 year old lady who loves cats, dogs, and tea. I’ve been here since the beginning and now I’m back again after a long hiatus! Grew up on homemade chai and black tea with milk and sugar.

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