411 Tasting Notes


Very subtle, very mild. Tiny tiny fruit hints at the beginning of a sip, with a nice green finish. I like this a lot. Which is funny since I tend to prefer the more bold flavors.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
411 tasting notes

After reading everyone’s rave reviews, there was no way I could not order this tea when I put in an order with SpecialTeas.

But my first experience with the tea was not the most positive. I brewed up a cup last night, and while the scent of the tea was LOVELY, the cup itself? It was bitter. I could taste the nutty cinnamon cookie goodness that everyone raved about, but it was overshadowed with the bitter bite of overbrewed tea. I’d even timed it this time (I admit, I usually forget and just wing it on steeping times).

So, before coming out here and writing a meh review, I tried it again this morning. Much better. I steeped it a much shorter time (2.5 rather than 3 minutes) and added a little less tea to my brew.

Much better. I understand now the extreme NOM factor previously stated. I’m glad I went ahead and actually ordered a full 1/4 lb of this one rather than just a sample.

2 min, 30 sec

this is a good one to keep on standby. it’s a good comfort tea.


As I’m on my third cup now, I can totally see that. :)


This definitely doesn’t need a long time to steep, but man, is it absolutely delicious!


I can’t wait to try it. It smells soooo delicious!

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It’s a pretty liquor once brewed. And it has a nice scent to it, althought I wouldn’t have come up with “overtones of pear” without reading the company description.

I can’t come up with many descriptive terms around the black teas yet – I’m still learning about them. I know I like this. I know I’m going to enjoy drinking the sample I got. It may be complex, I’m not sure. It is however, yummy, and that’s pretty much what I’ve got to go with – right? :)

2 min, 30 sec

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My father got me a gift certificate to SpecialTeas for Christmas, and I got myself a TON of teas. (Two sampler packs, 6 samples, and a few other 1/4 lb packages). (I warn you now, I’ll be rating a lot of SpecialTea over the next few days. )

This tea is one I picked because aside from Candy Cane Lane, my current favorite ever tea is Strawberry Lemonade from Teavana. So I thought, hey, let’s try something similar from SpecialTeas.

The tea is yummy. Really yummy. The aroma is subtle, and I’d prefer a little more in that arena, but the taste makes up for it. You can definitely taste the lemon-lime-y-ness of it. I can see myself making pitchers of this in the summer, iced with a bit of sweetener and having it be the savior of a hot, sticky, nasty day.

I still prefer the Strawberry Lemonade Teavana flavor, but that’s because it’s a hint sweeter. However, I really like this, and can see having both of these teas around for a long time.

8 min or more

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drank Mandarin Green by Adagio Teas
411 tasting notes

The scent of the tea in the tin – very mild. Can’t smell an orange or cinnamon hint in the tea.

While steeping, the leaves almost tripled in size. I’m used to the leaves expanding in water, but this was amazing. Like one of those amazing sponge toys – gets 10x bigger in water.

Once steeped, the green scent of the green tea definitely came out – but again, I can’t smell the orange.

The flavor is very delicate, and light, and the flavor of the orange is a very light note in the back of your mouth. But don’t oversteep – bitterness creeps in.

3 min, 0 sec

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drank White Tropics by Adagio Teas
411 tasting notes

The last of the new teas I’m going to try today.
The smell of the tea in the canister is fruity yet dark. Inviting but a little mysterious. Which is pretty impressive for a 2 inch sample tin of little green leaves.
Once brewed, the scent diminishes a little and almost acquired a very mild soapy overtone. (But in a good way, honest.) The flavor is definitely complex, and I’ll have to try this a few times before I can really describe it with justice. I tend to sweeten my tea, but I wanted to try the first sip of this unsweetened. It tasted almost woody. But I liked it. I then added a packet of splenda (as is my want with most tea). On second taste, it’s definitely over sweetened. So only half a packet next time. It’s got a bit of a creamy mouth-feel to it. As I am working through this cup, I find I’m liking it more and more.

I’ll try a second steeping tomorrow and see what I think then…

7 min, 0 sec

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drank Fruit Medley by Adagio Teas
411 tasting notes

I think I may not be a hibiscus girl. The tea smells amazing, and the light reddish tan liquor is beautiful, but the flavor just isn’t my favorite. It’s definitely better than most of the other teas I’ve tried today. (It’s been a banner day – a work friend gave me three Tazo teas I’d never tried, and an Adagio sampler pack showed up today).

I think I have to say I liked this, and I’ll enjoy drinking the rest of the sample, but I don’t know that I’d buy more of it.

180 °F / 82 °C 7 min, 0 sec

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Finally got around to trying my free sample from the catalog. The smell of the teabag is wonderful. The tea itself is not as flavorable as the smell, but still has an interesting scent to it. The tea is definitely flavorful, but not where near the promise of the smell. I get some of the numbing effect of the cloves on my tounge without the flavor of the spice.

I don’t know that I’d buy this tea, but I’m enjoying it more than others at this site have enjoyed it.

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drank Green Ginger by Tazo
411 tasting notes

Doesn’t stand out to me, but not bad. Basically meh. If I concentrate on the flavors, I can taste them all, but not something I’d go out of my way to pick up.

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drank African Red Bush by Tazo
411 tasting notes

I didn’t enjoy this much. I like Tazo’s teas, but this really didn’t do it for me. I’m still trying to find the red tea that will bring me around to the red teas. This wasn’t it.

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I’ve got a lot of interests: sushi, science fiction/fantasy, medieval recreation, cooking (specifically medieval cooking), reading, British science fiction (Doctor Who!), hand sewing and now TEA!!

My favorites tend to be oolongs and flavored black teas. I like highly flavored teas more than delicate ones. Rooibos tends to taste like dirt to me, and hibiscus is very sour to my palate. But I’m always up to try all sorts of things, and will often find things that I really like which I thought I’d hate.


Kansas City

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