1354 Tasting Notes

84
drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
1354 tasting notes

Oh wow. I’ll just say that this is really, really good. How did I forget this?! I’m not all that familiar with currants. I don’t think I’ve ever actually eaten one, so I can’t say for sure that I can taste them in this blend, but it does taste sweet and fruity. A perfect cup of tea for a nighttime treat.

Flavors: Bergamot, Fruity

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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84
drank Rose Scented by Harney & Sons
1354 tasting notes

I made a cup of this and drank it mindlessly while on a conference call this morning. All I knew was that I wanted a black tea with roses, and this was the first one I saw in the drawer that fit that description. It was just what I wanted.

Flavors: Floral, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp

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52

Following the directions, I used cold water and let steep for five minutes. After the five minutes were up, there was about a centimeter of tea-colored liquid at the bottom of the glass. The rest of the cup was still clear. Not what I expected. I dunked and swirled the bag a bit so that it would mix, but it still looks pretty light. Letting it steep a bit longer.

Ended up steeping for several more minutes and finally just decided to sip with the tea bag in. Interestingly, it tastes a little like orange flower water. So slightly floral. Overall, I’m not a fan. It wasn’t strong enough for an iced tea, in my opinion, and the flavor wasn’t anything special.

This is the last of the bags from my swap with Devon Bartholomew – so fun to try some new-to-me bagged teas!

Flavors: Drying, Floral, Orange Blossom

Preparation
Iced 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

I’ve never seen a Twinings cold brew … the local selection just covers the basics.

Shae

I’ve never seen them in my local store either. I saw a few other flavors online. I guess the universe felt the need to test me after my Twinings comment a couple days ago. :D

AJRimmer

So far, I haven’t found one of those quick cold brew teas that I liked much. They just turn out strange.

gmathis

Agreed. Just plain tea works fine, thank you, marketing departments!

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58
drank Tazo Classic Chai by Tazo
1354 tasting notes

This chai blend had a strong aroma of cardamom before steeping but after smelled only of fennel and/or licorice (just checked the ingredients and I’m guessing this is the star anise). The flavor is unremarkable, vaguely spiced. I’m not able to pick out anything specific. It’s one I might have tried because I do like Tazo teas generally, but I’m glad I was able to sample it first. Thanks, Devon Bartholomew!

Flavors: Cardamom, Fennel Seed, Licorice, Spices

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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77
drank 100% Natural Tea by Essential Everyday
1354 tasting notes

A strong, reliable black tea from Devon Bartholomew. I had a meeting at work today that caused some anxiety leading up to it and a lot of feelings after it was over. I was hoping to get some much-needed assistance, but I’m feeling less and less hopeful. They are still reviewing my request, but I don’t think things are going to work out the way I’d like them to. All that said, after the meeting was done I felt physically exhausted and had no motivation to do anything. It was nearly noon, but I hadn’t had any tea yet this morning since I was busy prepping for this meeting. I really wanted something dark, and this turned out to be a good choice. It has a nice malty, caramel flavor. It didn’t wake me up or make me feel any better, but it tasted good so I’m happy with it.

Flavors: Caramel, Malt

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
teepland

Ugh. I’m sorry the meeting didn’t turn out like you hoped. At least the tea was satisfactory afterward!

amandastory516

Very sorry you have some work stress going on. I hope things start to look up soon.

Shae

Yesterday was disappointing, but I’m trying to remember today that the best I can do is take things day by day. Appreciate you both. <3

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72
drank English Afternoon by Twinings
1354 tasting notes

A very busy afternoon/evening yesterday and a somewhat busy morning today has lead my body to decide it will no longer respond to my demands. It’s achy, sore, and sleepy, so I’m having one last caffeinated beverage this afternoon to push me through until bedtime. I’m so tempted to take a nap, but I have to wake up earlier than usual tomorrow for work and I want to be sure I can sleep tonight.

Just a short 3-minute steep for this one and it brewed up much darker than I expected. The flavor is solid and a bit lighter, which I would expect from something that is more of an afternoon blend. It’s probably not one I would purchase, but it’s certainly one I’m enjoying. Thanks, Devon Bartholomew, for letting me sample all the bagged teas!

Flavors: Tannic

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
gmathis

Twinings is a good, reliable no-fuss brand.

Shae

I was just saying this to my husband earlier (who was drinking a Bigelow tea). There’s rarely been a time, if ever, that I’ve hated something from Twinings.

Mastress Alita

Same, Twinings is my bagged-tea-brand of choice.

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48

I knew this morning that this was the tea I wanted and was pretty excited to try it, at least until I opened the wrapper and caught a tart and acidic aroma. NOOOO. Is there hibiscus in this?? I checked Steepster, checked the website, checked the tea bag – no ingredient list to be found. I only know it’s a black tea (or I hope it is) because it’s listed that way on Steepster. It’s not steeping up red, but it is very light. Could this be an herbal? Adding a bit of milk anyway – I need to know. No curdling, it’s not watery – perhaps it’s a black tea after all. Sans hibiscus, thank goodness.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste like much. It doesn’t have a strong base, there isn’t a plum flavor or any of the cinnamon and clove mentioned in the short description. It’s a real bummer because I love black teas with stone fruit notes. Thank you, Devon Bartholomew for sending. I just wish I’d liked it better.

Flavors: Tart

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Greeting the Sun by The Capilano
1354 tasting notes

I’m so excited about today’s’ sipdown theme, National Red Rose Day, because floral teas are some of my very favorites. I only wish I had started drinking earlier because now it’s already mid-afternoon and I’ll probably need to switch to something with lower caffeine soon.

This is an older tea that I got in an Amoda subscription several years back. There was just enough left for one small cup. I don’t think The Capilano is around anymore. In fact, I looked up the website just to check and the domain now serves as a blog with one how-to entry about purchasing sex toys. So there’s that. This might be the last bit of this tea lying around on planet Earth, but I can’t say I’m too sad about it. It’s floral, yes, but not as much as I’d like. Not when it’s meant specifically to be a rose tea. Though the description does say it’s supposed to be subtle, so maybe that’s the intended effect. The black tea base is fine as well, though not extraordinary. I think I felt this way even when I first tried it, so there are better options out there.

I’m glad, at least, that I’ve cleared another tea from my cabinet from so long ago. It’s a slow process but a fun one. I’m not sure how I would make a decision on which tea to drink if there weren’t a spreadsheet guiding my way.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Malt, Rose

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
teepland

What a surprise to find when checking the website! :O Hope the rest of your weekend is less exciting!

gmathis

I would’ve turned the color of the rose petals!

Shae

It definitely made me laugh!

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74
drank Butterscotch Blondie by Tazo
1354 tasting notes

From Devon Bartholomew.

This reminds me very much of Bigelow’s Salted Caramel black tea. Both have a black tea base with chicory root while Salted Caramel has rose hips and Butterscotch Blondie has cocoa peel, licorice root, cinnamon, and cardamom.

This has a very full flavor. I can taste the sweetness from the licorice root, but it really works here. I’m not sure what cocoa peel is exactly, maybe shells, but I don’t taste any sort of cocoa flavor. Neither do I taste any of the spices. It’s a rich caramel cup, and I can see the similarity to a blondie with its sugary caramelly bite, but I don’t taste the butterscotch.

Flavors: Brown Sugar, Caramel, Licorice, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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72
drank Golden Oolong Tea by Vinis Premium tea
1354 tasting notes

The last of my teas to review from my swap with Michelle – thank you!

The first sip of this feels a little watery tasting, but only the first sip. The color is dark and there is a distinct roasted coffee bean flavor and aroma. For some reason, lately I seem to like the bagged oolongs better than the loose leaf. Probably means I’m obviously not a connoisseur of such fancy teas. I tried an oolong from Yunnan Sourcing the other day and just couldn’t get into it.

Side note – the tag on this little tea bag is awfully cute! It has a bright yellow flower with red on the edges. Maybe a daisy? I don’t normally comment on tea bag tags, but this is one is really vibrant and fun.

Flavors: Astringent, Coffee, Roasted

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Michelle

This one makes a good travel tea, it won’t get bitter no matter how I try to over steep it :)

Shae

I don’t often take teas on the go because I never can seem to plan ahead, but I imagine a quick (good) bagged tea like this one might change that. I have an old Teavana tumbler with a strainer basket but hadn’t thought to throw a couple bags of tea in there for the road. I usually take everything in my bag and make a cup once I’m at work. I have so many tea bags in my tea cabinet, I probably need to play around and find some good ones for this once I’m back in the office.

Sierge Krьstъ

There was very interesting offer but I think got fake it was clay lined thermos

Shae

Interesting, I didn’t even know clay-lined thermoses existed!

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Profile

Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Currently reading:

A Breath of Snow and Ashes
by Diana Gabaldon

Updated October 2020.

Location

Alabaster, Alabama

Website

https://www.instagram.com/sph...

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