259 Tasting Notes

drank Lemonberry by TeaSource
259 tasting notes

Thank you to MeghannM for the opportunity to taste this tea. It’s a discreet little black tea with definite lemony and berry overtones. What berry? I don’t know—the berry is too elusive to pin down. I think that it’s a nice blend but when I say “nice” perhaps I am damning the tea with faint praise. Nothing really steps up and shouts out “Look at me! Smell me! Taste me!”

If I had had this tea 6 months ago I would have been mightily impressed but I’ve tasted so many black blends since then that I’ve become a bit fussy and I want all teas to stand up, salute, tap dance, and do cart-wheels in an utterly original way. This particular blend seems like it could be a great basic afternoon blend for somebody who wants something different than Earl Grey or other well-established afternoon teas.


Lol! I love your criteria for a good black tea :D

Meghann M

This tea definitely was not deserving of an encore, standing ovation or any high praise. It held up well as a lightly flavored black tea, but it seemed to blend into the flavored black tea crowd rather than be a misfit. I prefer the misfit.

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drank Bolder Breakfast by The Tea Spot
259 tasting notes

I want to thank LENA for sending me this delightful tea. I liked it quite well although not enough to want to buy it. I thought of Maiden’s Ecstasy by Samovar (with which Bolder Breakfast shares some traits) when I was drinking this. The tea is, as another reviewer, the wonderful Auggy described, a pu-erh with training wheels and there’s certainly a place for that for tea-drinkers. The tea is robust and has some chocolate qualities. And yet I ask myself what is missing here?

I am not sure what it is I want. I want more of something—a je ne sais quois—to be elucidated here. Maybe I want more pu-erh or maybe I want more of the chocolate to step forward. This is a tea that may (or may not) stick in my memory and call forth an urgent order in a day or two or a week or two. That has happened to me a lot here: I’ll give a tea a good but not rave review and after I while I will find myself wanting to return to that particular taste and revise my opinion upwards.

I added some milk and a small lump of sugar.

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This was only so-so. I am still sampling some decaffs and rooibos for evening potations, and this seemed to lack flavour. I’ve had decent chocolate mint black teas, so maybe it was the rooibos standing in the way of a tasty experience.
Worst than meh but not so bad that I wanted to toss it.

200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 15 sec

Oh the places my mind goes: with the name of this tea I started thinking of Charlie Brown and his teacher’s voice. With your last line there the trumpet voice did the “wah-wah-waaaah” of disappointment.

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drank Jasmine Pearl by Samovar
259 tasting notes

How lucky I was to get these from the generous LENA. Thank you! 6 months ago I would have confidently asserted that I dislike Jasmine tea because my only experience was with one of those wretched tea-bags (probably Bigelow or perhaps Twinings).

But recently I’ve grown to really enjoy and be impressed by the subtle aromas and tastes of green and white teas. The Jasmine flavour is one that I’ve grown to esteem. I think that Samovar’s Jasmine Pearls are, hencefar, the best I’ve experienced. The tea manages to be floral and biscuity. The characteristic buttery taste of some green teas is here but this is most certainly a jasmine tea and not merely a riff on a green tea.

The jasmine aroma is delicate and demure, yet it asserts itself beyond the taste of a biscuit-y tea, or a butter-y tea. I suspect, and not just from the price, that Samovar has one of the very best, if not the best, Jasmine Pearls for offer on the marketplace.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Excellent! I’m so glad you liked it! This is my all time favorite jasmine tea…but I still have to be in the mood for it.

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Sampler Packet #10, selected at random.

I previously have written a tasting note for this tea which AUGGY had generously given me and was happy to select it today. It is a very good Lapsang Souchong and the second try with this tea was not a disappointment. I am down-grading this just a tad, however, for no good reason except that I’ve discovered that excellent in Lapsang Souchongs is not that difficult to achieve. I am lucky in that the tea I’ve fallen for big time is one of the less costly teas out there.

I’ve tasted quite a few and liked them all. The only one that I have a particular craving for—the only one that I really am particular about—is Upton’s Black Dragon. This one is great. I would never say “no” to it and would never mark it down, but it just does not have what it takes to win me away from Black Dragon.

5 min, 0 sec

I must have this Black Dragon!!


I concur with Stephanie :)

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I like peaches. I love the idea of a Peach Bavarian or Peaches Melba (named after a great opera singer, Dame Nellie). A more rustic peach cobbler sounds nifty and a good peach ice-cream is close to divinity. Add peaches to an Olde English Trifle? Brilliant!

But I just cannot get the peach tea thing. Ginger Peach is a combination that makes me sag a bit. Usually you cannot find the ginger nor the peach. In this blend, it’s the ginger that is missing in action. I can taste some of the peach and the aroma is peachy.

If I loved the concept, my expectations might be higher and my note might be more effusive. But I don’t like the concept.

A friend gave me a canister of Republic of Tea Ginger Peach Tea several years ago because she loved it dearly. But I had a feeling….so I donated it (probably not very helpfully) at one of those food drives at school where you bring in unopened items and there are baskets overflowing with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and generic cans of peas and corn. I hope that the tea found its way to an affectionate owner.

What Indigo Tea managed to do with this was to highlight the peach aroma and peach taste so if you really like peaches, I’d recommend that you give this a try. I like the way that they did not allow the ginger to overtake the peach.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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Simply delicious! Another waker-upper with a slurping and slobbering factor.
TeaSpring provides great, speedy service straight from China.


And cheap too. Their shipping rate is the best I’ve seen ever. It’s cheaper even than some of the DANISH companies I’ve shopped at.
I haven’t tried their lapsangs though. Not yet, anyway adds to shopping list

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drank Banana Dulce by Art of Tea
259 tasting notes

I don’t think so.

5 min, 15 sec

What? No Graham cracker? No banana goodness? Must be all those “herbs” in it. ;)


HAHA…short and sweet.

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Somebody sent me a whole bag of this tea and I was about to give it away, untasted, untested, untried. But for some reason I hesitated. I don’t like Rooibos but the other tea I had from The Tea Table was remarkably good. The Tea Table has a nice web site proclaiming that “I believe it is customary in polite society to take some slight refreshment at five o’clock.” (Oscar Wilde)

An Oscar Wilde quotation. Good. And it just morphed into a Thomas De Quincey quotation! Better! Best? This tea could be a solution to my rooibos hate. I really liked it. The vanilla raspberry taste seemed fresh, smooth, and authentic and even though the tea does look like wood shavings, I didn’t pick up any of the tell-tale taste of sawdust. It looks as if I have another tea company to order from.

6 min, 15 sec

Not another tea company! LOL!


Tee-hee! Just added it to my “Tea Favorites” tab. I really need to start making subcategories ;)


This is one of the other companies I got a tea of the month club membership in on the recommendation of a friend who has been buying from them for years. They have excellent service, in my experience. I’ve yet to actually taste much of their stuff, though.

Miss Sweet

I’m down for solutions to rooibos hate, definitely saving this company for when I have money to spend on tea again…

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drank Jasmine Tea by Golden Moon Tea
259 tasting notes

Sampler Tea #9, chosen at random from the Golden Moon Tea Sampler

I don’t love Jasmine but I don’t dislike it. I found this tea to be “pleasant.” I think that I use the word “pleasant” in a lot of tea reviews where I find nothing objectionable about the tea, but I don’t get excited at all. I don’t particularly want to or need to purchase these “pleasant” teas because there’s an entire world of “pleasant” teas out there.

I have not sampled a lot of jasmine teas, so I cannot make any meaningful comparisons.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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I really love big, bold, brash teas. Smokiness enthralls me. I don’t seem to do subtle.
I don’t do rooibos.

My rating system:
Never again in a hundred million years

31-55: This tea probably has some redeeming qualities but I won’t would not seek it out again.

Shows some promise but also has a fundamental flaw. I probably owe these a second taste but am unmotivated.

Good with at least one strong quality; I probably would not buy it but would drink it cheerfully.

81-90: Worthy contenders; they might be ranked 100 on somebody’s else’s scale. I like them a lot but have not fallen in love. Will probably buy and use.

91-95: These are the true loves, the chosen ones, the ones I dream about and crave. Unless they are in a limited edition—la! how you tease me!—I will always keep in my cupboard.

96-100: I cannot be separated from these teas and would develop a panic attack if I were to run out.

“She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain.”

Elderly dowager. Quintessential cat lady.

Tea which must be in stock always:

Black Dragon LS by Upton Teas: My choice every morning.

Florence & Lapsang Souchong by Harney & Sons

a good Gen Maicha

Samovar: Russian Blend, Maiden’s Ecstasy, Ryokucha

Mariage Frères: Confucious, Vivaldi, Eros, Aida, Marco Polo

American Tea Room: Brioche

Leland Teas: Bogart

Life in Teacup:
An Xi Tie Guan Yin Grade II modern green style & also Charcoal Style


In the midst of the middle of the heart of nowhere in particular.

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