92 Tasting Notes


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
92 tasting notes

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

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drank Irish Breakfast by Trader Joe's
92 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
92 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
92 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
92 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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drank Matcha (Powdered) by Mighty Leaf Tea
92 tasting notes

Ricky, you’re going to hate me…in addition to all of that Adagio stuff, I now have three bags of Mandarin Matcha, a huge 4 oz bag of Matcha from Mighty Leaf, and a huge bag of Matcha Latte/Frappe mix from ML. :O [Note: I’m not bragging about this…I’m complaining about how much of a freaking dummy I am to have bought so much extra tea!]

I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised by this tea! First of all, it foams! Well, I know, most matcha foams, but I had gotten used to the Mandarin Matcha which unfortunately doesn’t foam no matter how long/powerfully you whisk it. [Mandarin Matcha is still tasty, though! I hope 52teas adds it to their restock list]. Anyway, I prepared this usucha (thin) style: 1 1/2 large scoops in 4 ounces of water.

The tea is pretty darn good for something so cheap! It’s not particularly bitter, although it’s not very sweet either. Very easy to drink down, and not powdery, even after being set down for a little while. Rewhisking easily made another thick layer of foam, which is nice.

So, how does it taste? Unfortunately, not like much. I’m getting mostly bitter greens, and a hint of the sea. Not a lot of sweet or savory action going on. Sometimes that’s okay, though, especially when you’re just looking for a caffeine fix!


=O I want to make a bigger smiley face! I’ll RaWr instead! Shantea!!!!!! Nooooooooo, that’s tooo much matcha. You have to start feeding some to Wendy now. You almost have a pound of matcha! Evil evil shantea, stole my mandarin matcha! That was suppose to be my free tea courtesy of groundhog Phil.


What is it about the different kinds of matcha that make some foam and some not, do you know?


Veri-Tea, I’m not sure! I know that the Mandarin Matcha is mixed with pulverized dried orange, so that probably affected the foaminess. It might have something to do with the fineness/coarseness of the powder, or maybe the temperature of the water.


Ricky, dude, I know! Damn you Shantea! I got impatient waiting for the Mighty Leaf order to ship here and ordered the Mandarin Matcha….and now I have too much! Not to mention I spent all my money on tea that I have to wait to drink…maybe next week I’ll email you about sending some, lol. I’m super busy with school right now, so no time to trek over to the post office this week :(

ps. lol @ Wendy + matcha…she only likes to drink MEATcha :) :) :)


Haha, I spent my months worth of tea money last week. What did I purchase…. a pu-erh sampler, the tea farm, mariage freres and 52teas! That’s a lot of tea!

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drank Honeybee by The Simple Leaf
92 tasting notes

I don’t know how to describe this…it’s like roasty flowers, but in a good way. I’m not getting honey from this, sadly. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve had other teas that tasted a lot more like honey than this one without meaning to. But anyway, even though I can’t quite pick out the individual flavors in this, but it’s good. Finish the whole cup off in less than a minute good. Keeping my mind off the huge stack of readings I have to do by tomorrow good.

Oh wait. Shoot. Did I just lose The Game?


Not fair!! I only learned about the game this year, and now I’ve already lost.


Sorry fcmonroe! :) hehe, blame my evil twin, Shantea, that’s what me and Ricky have been doing….that b*tch ruins everything!

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Busy college student; 20 years old; tea-novice. Grew up on homemade chai and black tea with milk and sugar.

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