Featured & New Tasting Notes

75

Considering that I had the teabag version, the tea was very fine. It helps me survive while I’m waiting for the good stuff to be delivered, because to my horror I could not get any loose tea in Madison, WI… Actually I don’t think I’ve seen much of it anywhere since my arrival in the US over 2 months ago…

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89
drank Blueberry by Adagio Teas
6770 tasting notes

This Blueberry is certainly my friend. My friend is going to be gone after today and will be missed. Maybe it will be reincarnated some day (another purchase). Regardless – I am going to enjoy the time we will spend together today. (See how many resteeps I can get).

Jillian

Alas poor Blueberry, I knew thee well…. ;)

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

So how many did you get?

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75

Clean and lovely, I had this during my morning while teaching. The white is smooth, while the mint adds a lovely zip to every sip.

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61
drank Blueberry Rooibos by Rishi Tea
260 tasting notes

You wake up to the sound of your alarm, and reach over to hit the snooze button. But you realize that your alarm clock is a blueberry. Confused, you sit up and reach to turn on the light, except that the light is a blueberry. You reach to pull back the duvet, only it has been replaced by a sheet of blueberries. Panicked, you run into the bathroom to look in the mirror, and…YOU ARE A GIANT BLUEBERRY.

Open the package and take a whiff, and it’s like every single entity in your realm of consciousness has been replaced by blueberries. The scent is strong, young Skywalker. Luckily, I like those little blue pellets, so this is an enjoyable experience for me.

The scent continues to waft up sweetly when the tea is brewing. The taste is a similar to the blueberries as well – slightly tart, but with an unmistakable sweetness [if you get good ones, that is]. The sweetness in this tea arrives in the finish and lingers in the aftertaste.

For me, the rooibos in this is almost unrecognizable. When I do taste it, it’s in the aftertaste, but it’s not strong.

I’m curious to try this iced.

So far so good, Rishi. You’re two for two. Can you keep it up? CHALLENGE EXTENDED.

Auggy

You crack me up. “YOU ARE A GIANT BLUEBERRY” will be running through my head all day.

takgoti

Eeexcellent. My evil plan is coming into fruition.

Carolyn

The I AM A GIANT BLUEBERRY aspect of this tea is what I disliked so intensely about it. I actually pouted to my husband, “I am not going to continue to sit here if that can of tea is sharing the same table.” He made the correct choice between the hideously strong blueberry tea and me. He loves me more than blueberries. I’m pleased.

Auggy

@Carolyn: that made me laugh… I do the same thing with DH and his (extremely noxious smelling, insanely expensive) single malts. Sadly, he usually picks the single malt!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

That tea does sound totally yum. The GIANT BLUEBERRY remarks reminded me of Violet’s end in Willy Wonka.

kat

totally Willy Wonka haha! I love blueberries so much and have never had a rooibos before, but now things may change- are there same health benefits and fabulousness feelings teas are giving me in rooibos cuz I know its not really tea ..weird …what the heck is it then?

takgoti

@kat If you love blueberries, this could be the tea for you. Rooibos isn’t technically tea, it’s from a different plant, but it is supposed to have additional health benefits.

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45
drank Decaf Tropics by Adagio Teas
233 tasting notes

My box of tea samples from Adagio came today. The samples are all in tiny tins! It is very cute, but I’m not sure what I will do with so many little tins once I’ve finished the tea.

This Decaf Tropics has an excellent flavor and fragrance that makes me think of sunny days on a beach sipping a drink with an umbrella in it. The fragrance is true to the flavor.

The black tea base is ok. It isn’t Lipton, but it isn’t up to the grade of my favorite black teas either. It has more tannins than I like and a slight bitterness. Also it doesn’t have much complexity. (On the other hand, it’s better than most grocery store tea. However, I’ve been getting spoiled with the great black teas I’ve been trying.) I steeped it for 4 minutes. Next time I’ll try 3 minutes and see if that improves it.

Despite my slight disappointment with the black tea, the adept hand Adagio has with the flavoring makes up for the dull tea. It is pleasant to drink and a good bedtime tea. I look forward to trying the rest of the samples.

takgoti

I like to keep a couple of small tins around so I can dump small quantities for transport. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue. I could probably build a fort, at the rate that I am accruing them.

Jillian

I always thought that the ‘duller’, less distinct black teas were always used deliberatly in flavoured blends so that it wouldn’t interfere with the flavour.

Carolyn

takgoti: Build a fort! That’s what I need to do then. ;)

Jillian: That makes sense. However my favorite flavored teas feature interesting black teas as well. For example, Golden Moon’s Honey Pear combines the flavor with a very good black tea so that the flavors integrate and are distinctive in their own right as one sips. Also the complexity and lovely notes of the black tea in Upton Tea’s Mélange de Chamonix are an important part of the blend and would be missed if they’d used an uninteresting Ceylon black.

Auggy

I love Adagio’s little tins! I keep all of them and sometimes there is a little fort of them in my pantry. But they slowly go away because I use them to give people tea samples. Also, when I get bulk tea from the store, I don’t get a ton and they fit in those little tins so nicely (much better than the clear plastic bags I buy them in).

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75

For a tea bag, you can get quite a few brews out of this one.

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75
drank Dragonwell by Unknown
43 tasting notes

The current Dragonwell I have comes from the Essencha tea house in Cincinnati. Dragonwell is my current favorite green Chinese, and this specimen is a fine one. Smelling the leaves, before and after steeping, remind me of chocolate.

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35
drank Japanese Treasures by Blue Teapot
1908 tasting notes

Steeped for 1.5 minutes. The tea wasn’t bitter but I couldn’t taste and strawberry or current flavours in it with this short a steeping time. The mix of green teas seems a little weird because you lose the individual flavours and characteristics of each tea.

takgoti

Wow. That IS short. Is that what they say to steep it for? Strange. If you name a tea “Japanese Treasures,” I’d expect it to knock my metaphorical socks off. Sounds like this is a miss.

Jillian

The recommended steeping time is 1-2 minutes, so yeah. I used to like this one when I was less educated in ‘the way of tea’, lol, but I think I have higher standards now that I know what good green tea tastes like.

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74
drank Mandarin Chai by Davidson's
911 tasting notes

Did half milk/half water + sugar and tea and brought it to a boil. It’s like chai with a splash of creamsicle. Or if I made a light masala chai using my orange milk instead of normal milk. (Yes, I have orange milk – it is gooooood).

takgoti

Ok, this tea sounds simply delightful, one. But two, ORANGE MILK? That sounds uh.maze.ing. Where? Where?

Auggy

Promised Land brand milk – it’s a seasonal flavor that I picked up at Central Market (which, if you aren’t familiar with it, is a gourmet/hippie grocery store). I also got the tea at Central Market. Yay Central Market!

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75

I wouldn’t bother logging it, but it has been very good to me. I’ve been at home, sick, for the past five days. Part of this sickness has been a hacking cough. Yesterday I had a cup of this tea and felt tremendously better. I slept through most of the night and the cough is much better today. My plan is to drink huge quantities today.

takgoti

Man, everyone’s been feeling under the weather lately. I really hope I don’t fall prey to the sickness, knock on a really big wooden table. Hope you feel better soon! [Drinking lots of tea is always a good start.]

laurenpressley

Thanks! I’m doing much, much better this week, and back to drinking real tea! :)

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79

Although the directions call for a boiling-steep method, this tends to make a very astringent concentrate best diluted with milk and sugar. When done in a bag and steeped for 5 minutes at 200F it was weak and disappointing. However, when left loose in a mug of water at around 208F and allowed to sit until cooled, you get a warm spicy cup, a nice balance. Be wary of tea leaves in your teeth!

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80

This is the first and only so far oolong tea I’ve ever tried.

My local Earth Fare had several Rishi loose teas 50% off and this is one of the several I brought to try. I did not know if I would enjoy it at all. I haven’t been too fond of unflavored black teas so far and thought an oolong would taste similarly. To my surprise, I loved it. It rapidly became one of my favorite teas of the current batch in my apartment. I start drinking and before I know it I’ve consumed the whole pot already.

I’m about to drink a pot of the second brewing of this set of leaves.

takgoti

I logged about the epiphany I had surrounding oolongs a while ago – they caught me off-guard too. They’re really quite amazing when you catch a good one. They’re also one of the few types of tea I’ve found that consistently evolve through steepings.

I haven’t tried this particular one yet, but enjoy your second steep!

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I have found that all three steepings are quite drinkable. I’ve yet to try brewing a fourth. I do look forward to trying other oolongs in the future so I can see how they compare to this one and if I continue to enjoy them so much. Do you have any favorites that you recommend?

Cofftea

try flavored oolongs!

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91

This organic Earl Grey is made using the same ancient assamica tree leaves as Rishi’s regular Golden Yunnan. The leaves here are much darker than in the Golden Yunnan either as a result of the scenting process or, as I suspect, because it’s less tippy (has fewer buds). Truth is, if you’re planning on scenting a tea, it makes sense that you wouldn’t use a lot of buds, the flavor of which will only get overwhelmed by the bergamot. Anyway, this brew yields a rich liquor with a great citrus taste that doesn’t taste medicinal the way some some cheaper Earl Greys can taste. A nice tea, as my grandmother would say.

A nice travelogue about the ancient Yunnan harvest can be found at http://www.rishi-tea.com/travelogue/Fair_Trade_Organic_Tea/slides/Map_of_China.php.

Another good article about the wild Yunnan harvest can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/21/world/asia/21tea.html?scp=7&sq=tea&st=cse

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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75

LOVE this tea. Just ordered two lbs as a birthday present for myself. The sheen of cinnamon oil on the tea is awesome. I’m a big fan of cinnamon altoids and this is like one big cup filled with them! Great fall/winter tea! Ditto on this tea not needing any sugar.

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93

The most expensive tea I’ve ever bought and I think it’s probably the nicest too. It’s certainly very good anyway. I didn’t put in properly boiling water and it took off the edge to it but it still tastes sweet and good!!

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75
drank White Blueberry by Adagio Teas
161 tasting notes

I’m a huge fan of this tea iced…but this morning in my sweat pants and hoodie, I’m drinking it hot. And it’s great! I think there are one or two blueberries floating about that I might have to fish out and eat. Tasty cuppa!

Although, after looking at the fuzz covered blueberries in the picture, I might pass on eating them today.

takgoti

SWEAT PANTS AND HOODIES FTW.

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75
drank Yerba Mate by Guayaki
2 tasting notes

My first experience with this tea wasn’t the best. But it’s grown on me over time. I now drink this every morning. I enjoy using the loose leaf tea with my cast-iron tea pot, as it really adds to the whole “tea making” experience. Contrasted against the boring tea pouches you drop in your cup.

I recommend this to all my friends already, so I’ll recommend it to you.

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52

I had high hopes for this tea after I smelled it – I thought it might compete with Teavana’s Rose Marzipan for a place in my heart. Well, it doesn’t quite make it but it’s close. I feel like it needs just a little extra something to make it really wow me. It’s sweet and I love the almond with the vanilla peeking out at the end but maybe a touch of maple or something would add that oomph I want it to have. Also, it tastes a little thin but I’m not sure how to change that. I made it strong enough that I can feel the affects of the caffeine so I’m not sure how to make the taste bolder without causing someone at work to beat me with a hole-punch due to hyperactivity.

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75

I have to admit that I have been on a bit of a coffee kick as of late…usually having a cup every other day or so in the morning. In an effort to eat healthier I have cut out the coffee but surprisingly this chai has filled that gap quite nicely!

I tend to brew my chai a little differently though (hey, I think it tastes great). Usually I throw it on the stove top the night before, bring it to a simmer and let it do its thing for 10-15 minutes. I then chill and repeat in the morning to get a really strong brew and add some almond milk and a splash of agave nectar. Yum!

BTW, the subtle jasmine is refreshing and really rounds out this chai tea.

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75
drank Jasmine Pearl by Samovar
20 tasting notes

Totally addicted to this tea.

takgoti

Not to get all freaky-outy on you, but I KNOW!!! ISN’T IT THE BEST???

[???!!!]

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75
drank Vanilla Chai by Bigelow
7 tasting notes

They have this in the cafeteria sometimes at school, which was where I first found it. It’s pretty tasty, especially with a bit of creamer or milk and maybe a cookie, although it doesn’t have quite as good flavor as some of the other vanilla chais I’ve had.

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75
drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

This tea is what I was thinking of when I was a child and making imaginary magic potions that could heal your lifeforce or imbue you with magic. The tea itself is a feel good item and can lift spirits. It allows you to shrug off discomfort, like it was some kind of winter coat and just feel good.

It has a cool blonde liquor and a mild smell like tanned leather or some sort of soft herb like tarragon. The taste has notes of butter and hay, like some impossible grain beverage. There are no truly bitter flavors present.

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68
drank Serenity by Tavalon Tea
260 tasting notes

I got this as a sample and decided to give it a soak tonight. First off, I almost want to buy this for the sole purpose of being able to yell SERENITY NOW! whenever someone asks me what I’m drinking. And while we’re on the thread of non-practical reasons to like this tea, it also reminds me of my most favorite canceled television show ever, Firefly.

As for the tea itself, I’m officially impressed. The concept of a Tea Sommelier is pretty cool, but with the way that this tea come together it makes me think that the people at Tavalon have someone over there whose work is more akin to that of a mixologist. I could easily pull out every single one of the components they listed in the description of that tea, and they unfolded very nicely. The chamomile, the vanilla, and the rooibos give it warmth, the lemongrass adds a brightness, and the peppermint leaves you feeling clean at the finish. The combination of it all, at points, reminds me ever-so-vaguely of Red Vines [who, for those unfamiliar, makes the best red licorice in the world and would stab the heck out of Twizzlers in a knife fight]. The tea is not sweet, but the aftertaste makes you think that it is.

I don’t hate chamomile, but I don’t love it either, so this isn’t something that I could drink on a regular basis. When I find myself in the mood for a little chamomile action, however, I can most definitely see this being a tea I would crave.

Sorry, but I’ve got to do it.

SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!

Fin.

Carolyn

I love Firefly. It always seemed to me that Joss Whedon had produced multiple dramas and each person on the ship had their own show with quite different emotional timbre. So for this Serenity tea, whose drama is it? Is it Mal? Zoe? Inara? Simon? Kaylee? River? One of the others? From what it sound like it couldn’t possibly be Jayne, right?

Auggy

So totally unrelated but – I had a friend in school who named his dog Taxi because he really wanted to go out in the neighborhood (which at the time was pretty country) and yell “Taxi!”.

takgoti

@Carolyn Hmm, that’s a toughie. I’m going to have to say Kaylee. It’s too “soft” to be any of the men [well, except for Simon I suppose, but it doesn’t read as a Simon tea to me]. It’s not exotic enough to be Inara or bad ass enough to be Zoe or crazy enough to be River. Actually, now that I think of it, it reeks of Kaylee to me [in a good way]. As for Jayne, I’d peg him to be more of a Lapsang Souchong, myself. Possibly a gunpowder. [Ba-dum, CHING!] THE AMOUNT OF THOUGHT I AM PUTTING INTO THIS IS EMBARRASSING. GOING TO STOP NOW.

@aug3zimm That’s hilarious. My friend Steve wanted to name his dog Damnit, for similar reasons.

Jason

Do all teas remind you of Firefly in some way?

takgoti

Please. Everything in the world can remind me of Firefly, so far as I’m concerned.

Jason

touche

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82

Boiling water 3 min, resteeped 4 min. The liquor is red-amber, rosy, almost orange — a beautiful shade — with a chocolate aroma. I am tasting caramel, toasted almond, bittersweet cacao, with a sweet plum finish. A perfect accompaniment to the Walkers shortbread I brought home yesterday!

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec
Auggy

Sounds wonderful! I’m going to have to try that!

Jillian

You make it sound so delicious! :D

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