2145 Tasting Notes


What I found surprising about this tea was that it didn’t fit the flavor-profile that I typically associate with Keemun—there’s no smokey aftertaste. Instead I found it to be rich, full-flavored, and sweet with a slight floralness that hangs on the tongue. It was really unexpected and before I knew it my cup was gone. Before today if you had asked me if I enjoyed Keemun I’d likely have told you that it wasn’t one of my favorites, even though I do occasionally fix a cup, but this tea really has changed my opinion about what a good-quality Keemun should be.

You can read the full review on my blog:

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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There are two things in life I refuse to discuss with anyone, religion and politics, but since today is the presidential election I thought at the very least I’d mark the occasion with a special tea grown in the US. I’ve been fascinated by the handful of teas I’ve seen grown in America, but because they’re grown in small amounts and have a limited availability I’ve only managed to sample a few—most of which have been from Arbor Teas. This one in particular is a green tea, grown on the Mauna Kea Tea Farm in Honokaa, Hawaii. The volcanic soil of this region produces a tea that’s nothing like the more widely available green teas from China or Japan. The flavor is brisk and astringent, with hints of hay and a mild floral finish. Because the level of astringency is so high it has a tendency to leave behind a dry mouth, so it’s not a tea I would enjoy during the summer when I’m constantly parched, but it’s very well suited the cooler months of the year.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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It’s no secret that I drink an obscene amount of tea, most of which is some form of green tea, but I don’t tend to purchase Dragon Well as often as others. I’m a big baby when it comes to astringency, I just don’t care for it (although it’s something many other tea drinkers truly desire.) Dragon Well often has more of an astringent bite than other green teas—especially those picked later in the Spring. What really sets this tea apart from others of its type is the incredibly smooth flavor and lack of astringency. It’s without a doubt the most enjoyable Dragon Well I’ve had the pleasure of sampling, but it’s also one of the most expensive teas TeaVivre has to offer (50 grams will set you back about $34.) You can certainly find many less expensive options if you enjoy Dragon Well, but comparing a She Qian Dragon Well to anything else is like comparing apples to oranges. She Qian teas are picked much earlier in the year (near the Spring equinox on March 20th) and are highly sought after because of the vastly different flavor profile they offer. They’re only produced in limited amounts, but if you’re a fan of Dragon Well you’ll definitely want to put this on your wish list.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Let me start by saying that I’ve really been missing out by not buying a bag of these for myself sooner. These cookies are really tasty and in full disclosure I should tell you they’re a bit addictive (I may have sat here and eaten most of the bag in one sitting, whoops!) You have three different options for flavors: honey rooibos, white berry, and vanilla chai. When I send these to my friends I usually buy the vanilla chai because you really can’t go wrong with spiced cookies and it’s a flavor that will appeal to tea lovers and haters alike. The cookies are gently spiced with chai and the texture reminds me of buttery shortbread. Occasionally you’ll run across a piece of dried pineapple, which is slightly gummy and doesn’t really add to the flavor. I could do without the pineapple in the cookies, it seems like an odd combination to me, but the inclusion doesn’t affect my enjoyment enough where I wouldn’t order these again (and again and again, did I mention they’re addictive?)

You can read the full review on my blog:

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I’m sure I’ve made it known at some point that I’m not a huge fan of lemon in my tea, but I was intrigued when I stumbled across this Meyer lemon chai from Tea Market. It was the unique combination of ingredients that originally caught my eye, but I’ll be honest, I’m a bit fascinated with anything Meyer lemon at the moment. I’ve been using them in everything from vinaigrettes to lemon cake with fabulous results. So how did they taste in my tea? I’ll give you one word: delicious! This tea reminded me almost of a spicy lemonade without all the added sugar. It was sweet, tart, and the ginger gave it a spicy bite at the end. I could easily see this as a summer staple, so it’s going at the top of my shopping list.

You can read the rest of the review on my blog:

160 °F / 71 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Ooh, that sounds good. I am also a devotee of all things Myer Lemon


Did you try it iced? I had it that way first at Tea Market and really liked it.


Ah, never mind, reading your full review I see that you did. :)

Short Sorceress

I’ve tried it both ways and prefer it iced :)

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Because I’ve come to enjoy scented teas so much I find myself seeking out unique and unfamiliar pairings, which is how I originally stumbled across this tea. What is interesting about it is that it doesn’t actually contain ginger, but is instead scented with Ginger Lily, a type of tropical flower. Even more interesting is that it gives the tea a faint spicy flavor that isn’t far off from real ginger. It pairs well with the more earthy high mountain oolong used as a base, but the overall flavor of the tea is very mild. This makes it a good choice for those of you who want to steer clear of the more floral oolongs and it’s an excellent choice to serve along with a meal when you don’t want the flavor of your tea to overpower the food.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec

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Magus Brands recently sent me a box of their new Matchasticks to try out and I have to say, I’m loving them. They’re unsweetened, filled only with organic ceremonial grade matcha from Japan. Unlike the lower grade matcha you see in most sticks, this is top notch stuff! The color is brilliant green and the matcha has a naturally sweet flavor that is remarkably similar to my favorite matcha from DoMatcha.

These sticks are exactly what I’ve been looking for when I travel, the only trouble is that the amount of matcha in each packet varies a little, anywhere from 2.2-3g per stick. I find that if the amount happens to be closer to 2.2g I sometimes need a little more than one stick for a standard size 16.9 ounce water bottle. This leaves me with enough matcha for a 7 day trip, instead of the full 10 days and I need to secure the open package with a binder clip until I’m ready to use it the next day. A little bit of an inconvenience, but so far the best option I’ve found for my needs.

You can read the full review on my blog:

Iced 2 g 17 OZ / 499 ML

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Unlike some of the other oolongs I’ve sampled from TeaVivre in the past, this tea has a more monotone flavor, tasting mostly of fresh picked flowers. It lacks the depth some of their other offerings have and I find myself missing the notes of hay, vanilla, and sweet fruit that some of my favorites, such as their Anxi Monkey King Tie Guan Yin, bring to the table. While this classic style of Tie Guan Yin isn’t as flavorful, it does have a fabulously smooth, almost butter mouthfeel and slight sweetness that I’ve found quite addictive. This tends to dissipate slightly with each resteeping of the leaves, but the faintest hints are still noticeable, even after the sixth steeping. The fact that this tea can be steeped so many times alone will insure that I’ll order it again, it’s a great choice when economy is something to consider, although I will admit it’s not my favorite of the Tie Guan Yin teas that TeaVivre has to offer.

You can read my full review on my blog:

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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I’ve been trying to streamline my iced tea making process, so I picked up a box of passionfruit jasmine iced tea pouches during my last Art of Tea order. What I love about the passionfruit jasmine in particular is that it’s a blend of black and green teas; it’s perfect for those of us who can’t decide which way they want to go. Both the black and jasmine green teas that are used as a base for this blend are mild, which really allow the slight floral notes from the jasmine and slightly sweet flavors of the passionfruit shine. This is one of those iced teas I could drink a lot of and not get bored, but even if I did I still have eight other flavors to choose from.

You can read the full review on my blog:


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I am always interested in swapping so if you see anything in my cupboard that you want to try just send me a message. Please keep in mind that I order most of my teas in sample sizes and may not have a lot to swap. I’m also trying to keep my swaps limited to one a month so I don’t break the bank.

My favorite tea companies to order from are American Tea Room, Rishi, TeaVivre, and Single Origin Teas, however I am constantly lured away from my favorites by a good sale.

Ingredients I love in tea
rose, peach, oolong, osmanthus, vanilla, marshmallow root and peppermint

Ingredients I dislike in tea:
spearmint, chocolate, orange, hibiscus, sage and for the most part lemon.

I am a firm believer that sage only belongs in my thanksgiving stuffing/dressing and absolutely not in my tea.

Cinnamon, Chocolate, Burdock Root, and Goji Berries

FORLIFE Curve Teapot, 24oz
Adagio ingenuiTEA, 16oz
Adagio Iced ingenuiTEA, 32oz
Zojirushi Water Pot, 4L
Libbey Country Fair drinking jars for ice tea
TeaVivre Travel Gaiwan

Rating Guidelines:

100 – 90: Pantry essential and some of my all time favorites that I can’t live without.

89 – 80: You’ll have a pretty good chance of finding this is my pantry on a regular basis, but it isn’t the end of the world if I run out.

79 – 70: I might consider restocking this at some point if the price was right.

69 – 40: Not undrinkable, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it again.

39 – 20: What in the world were they thinking? Probably still finished this just because I hate to waste anything.

19 – 0: Wow, that’s so terrible chances are pretty good I dumped it out and gave away the rest.

My current top five favorite teas:

China Black – Rishi Tea
Earl Grey Cream – Zen Tea
Lemoncello – American Tea Room
Nonpareil Anxi Qing Xiang TieGuanYin Oolong – TeaVivre
White Tea Rose Mélange – Rishi Tea


Oregon, WI



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