158 Tasting Notes

72

I’m another one of those “got it at Home Goods/TJMaxx” people. How could I resist at the low price for so much tea! Plus I find that I really enjoy Tao of Tea brand teas. This one’s really nice, very pleasant, although quite mild for me. I don’t like super spicy masala chai, so it works. Nice blend of spices, but again, super mild, and I’m not getting much flavor from the Assam base. I would theorize that maybe the way Tao of Tea packages its teas makes it susceptible to losing flavor, but the other flavors I’ve tried from this brand (Ginger Peach, Black Mango) are still super flavorful. Anyway, it’s a nice drinker for when I feel too lazy to make my own masala chai – and I always prefer my own made from scratch – easier to control the spices that way!

FWIW – brewed up the black tea and just added evaporated milk after it was done steeping. Did not make it on the stovetop. Like I said – for when I’m lazy!

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89

A gift from a very generous and dear friend. She knows the tea flavors I like and this tea is sooooo good. Lovely caramel flavor that I’ve enhanced with milk, no burnt sugar notes, just creamy, slightly buttery, deep caramel flavor. Would make an excellent dessert tea, but I like it with breakfast, especially if that breakfast is savory, or not very exciting flavor-wise. Probably one of the best caramel flavored blacks I’ve had.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cream, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
ashmanra

I love caramel flavor so I may have to check this one out once I sip down a few more teas!

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84

Wow – I love this tea! Now, I’ve said it before, I’m not a big fan of herbal/fruit infusions. They’re usually too tangy for me. There are a couple of exceptions and I have nothing but love for them. This is definitely one of those exceptions. I know there’s gotta be a ton of god-knows-what in there to make it taste so buttery and cookie-like. I don’t care. This is perfect for a dessert tea, something when I crave a sweet for after dinner and don’t want to consume all the calories that go into it, plus no caffeine to interfere with sleep (although my sensitivity to caffeine isn’t high). Just a dash of evaporated milk and we’re good to go. Buttery, caramel, cookie goodness with some cocoa notes. Absolutely yum.

Flavors: Butter, Caramel, Cocoa

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec 3 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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90

OMG this tea – so, so good. I guess I’m quite the Keemun girl, because this hits the straight black tea spot. Bright, sweet and a little fruity, it’s one of those teas that you can do anything to – hot, iced, milk, etc. This is my jam!

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
gmathis

Sounds perfect!

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89

How have I not reviewed this yet? Guess it fell through the cracks. I get these nice, big bags of loose leaf at Home Goods, and the price is right, so I don’t expect much. However, The Tao of Tea teas I’ve purchased are surprisingly good! The Ginger Peach is awesome, and the Black Mango is just as good. I usually make iced tea out of these, and I’ve been brewing Black Mango all summer. It makes an excellent iced tea. Fruity, a little floral, robust black base with lots of juicy notes. Super refreshing. I’ve also had it hot, and it was just as good, but my preference is iced. Good thing I have a lot of it! Amount of tea to water is for iced tea, for hot it’s 1 tsp per 8 oz.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity, Juicy, Mango

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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57

Always a sucker for a dessert flavored tea, I initially balked at the price, but went for it in the last iteration because this flavor seems to sell out and isn’t always available. The scent of the dry leaf (and even while brewing) is very butter-forward. Like, seriously butter. A little vanilla sweetness is detectible as well. But upon tasing the brew, it’s very underwhelming. Heavy butter scent, super mild butter and vanilla taste. Really subtle. I may try brewing longer next time, because I feel confident that I did not underleaf.

Here’s the weird thing: I decided to have this tea after dinner with a couple of gingersnap cookies leftover from when I made a peach tart earlier in the summer. For whatever reason, taking a small bite of the cookie and then a sip of tea made it really delicious! Odd, since I didn’t think it would go together, but there’s an almost toffee-like aspect to the cookie that not only compliments but greatly enhances the dessert flavor of this tea. Go figure. So, a win, I guess? It was very enjoyable with the cookies, but the milky oolong base of this tea is a no-show.

Flavors: Butter, Vanilla

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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45

This is for the batch picked in Autumn of 2021. Let me preface this by saying that I’m not a big Darjeeling fan in general. Most of the time I find Darjeelings too bland for my taste. When I saw the description of this one, I thought I’d give it a shot. Smooth, full-bodied and sweet? Count me in!

As soon as I opened the package, I had my doubts. I didn’t care for the scent of the dried leaf. I wish I could come up with a good description. Roasty? Not really earthy, also not like a black tea to me. I’m failing to come up with an accurate description. Anyway, I didn’t care for the scent but was hoping it was one of those situations where it brews up quite differently into something I would like. Brewed according to Lupicia’s directions. Sadly, the brewed tea was true to the dry leaf scent. I mean, I can drink it, I’ll eventually get through it, but it won’t be one I would reach for normally. Smooth? Sure. Full-bodied? OK. Sweet? No way. No sweetness in this tea. No bitterness, but nothing I can detect that would fall into any category of sweetness. I will try it iced to see if that improves it. My initial take on Darjeelings stands. Meh.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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87

Originally I purchased this with the plan to use it as a base for chai. Then I picked up a different chai base tea on a Home Goods run, so I decided to open this one up. Plus, a friend was visiting and I knew she would love this tea. Glad I didn’t wait. Dang, it’s good! Nice full body, malty, fantastic with milk. Super satisfying alongside a sweet breakfast. I love you, Lupicia!

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
ashmanra

Good to know! I hadn’t noticed this one!

Cameron B.

Lupicia lovers, unite! :D

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89
drank Almond Tea by House of Tea
158 tasting notes

Gifted to me by a dear friend who definitely knows my tastes! I love a good almond tea and this one does not disappoint. Lovely almond flavor that does not eclipse the tea. Little pieces of almonds visible among the black tea base. I’ve been enjoying it in the mornings with, of course, a little bit of evaporated milk. Delightful.

Flavors: Almond

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

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84
drank Cherry Blossom by Tea Forte
158 tasting notes

My husband and I had our hanami at a local park that happens to have a bunch of cherry trees. They’re small, but loaded with blossoms. This tea was the perfect accompaniment to the onigiri, shrimp shumai, strawberry daifuku, taiyaki (custard AND azuki bean filled!), and a mini baumkuchen that I brought. I brewed it up beforehand according to the instructions, and put it in my thermos. Delicately floral, light cherry fruit, soft green tea flavor, nothing was too heavy, nothing overpowered any of the other elements in the tea. We enjoyed it so much. I wasn’t expecting much from this, since my previous experiences with cherry blossom green teas have been mixed. They can get cloying, metallic, overly floral. Not so here. This is a winner.

Flavors: Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Floral

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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