133 Tasting Notes

I watched a Today Show segment yesterday titled: “Too Good To Be Healthy”, which featured Tea Forté’s Chocolate Truffle and Coconut Mango Colada teas. I currently have a few boxes of the Chocolate Truffle which I like. Very much. And I wanted to give this a fair shake too, especially after watching Kathie Lee take two sips of this and raving about it during the segment. More than one sip is a good sign usually, right?

I honestly had no intention of buying this tea whatsoever when I went grocery shopping this morning. Since coming home, I have had 3 cups of this. I really want to like it, but two out of the three cups have given me the shivering spine-tingles. This usually happens when I have a red wine that hasn’t had enough time to breathe and mellow – not a good sign.

The packaging says to bring water to a near boil and steep for 5 minutes. I brought the water to 190º and steeped for 5 minutes. Tried it hot, sweetened and iced – ACK! The second time I brought the water up to 174º and steeped for 2 minutes. Tried that version hot, sweetened and iced – ACK! again. The third time I heated the water to 130º for 1:45. This has been the best version so far, iced.

It does taste tropical; Coconut, lime and a bit of pineapple, but I really don’t taste the mango.

I need to try cold steeping this before I completely banish it from the cupboard. Definitely won’t be repurchasing…

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Last night I developed a wet cough – yeah gross, right? It could be symptoms of the horrific allergies I have as a Midwesterner. Or it could be because my husband has been out of town for the last couple days and I haven’t been taking the best care of myself while he’s away. (Staying up late, eating crap because it’s easier, you get the idea.) Thankfully he’s coming home this evening.

My throat is a little scratchy and sore, just enough to be annoying. Times like these I turn to orange juice, however there is none in the house (and I’m too lazy to go to the store). So I reach for this because it’s the closest thing that my lazy butt is going to get to OJ. Sadly, I have a ton of this from my early days as a tea drinker. 3 bags in 8oz of boiling water and iced with sweetener. Its a little better than drinking some disgusting powdered Theraflu-type stuff, but ACK! Must…. choke…. down….

Boiling 8 min or more

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This was my first blend purchase from Adagio. It was nice while it lasted, but probably not something I’d get again. Tasted the best hot with caramel syrup and milk. A decent winter tea, but now that it’s warming up I need the tin it was in.

185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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For a girl who likes her flavored black teas, I usually don’t reach for a variation of Earl Grey. Today is different. I had planned to have hazelnut or almond oolong for breakfast as I’m getting a replenishment supply from the mail lady, who by the way can’t get here soon enough! Anyway, The Earl Grey Moonlight was sitting next to the other above mentioned teas and it won out. Strange….

Usually I’ll choose an Earl Grey Cream over a regular Earl Grey. Something about the cream flavoring mellows out the sharpness of the citrus. And I’ve been burned so many times by the overuse of bergamot that I hardly ever give it a whirl.

Enter Adagio’s sample: I bought this because it was a sample size. For not drinking it very often (I mean maybe 6 times a year, tops!), I really didn’t want a bunch of it hanging around.

I had 12 ounces of water and steeped 2 tsp. of this with a half tsp. of Adagio’s Cream Black, using the below preparation parameters. A couple tablespoons of simple syrup and half & half and it turned out really delicious!

The sample size was the right amount, as there are just too many other teas I prefer. When this runs out, I might get another sample to have on hand for those rare times that I reach for an Earl Grey.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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drank Shamrock Tea by 52teas
133 tasting notes

This is my favorite minty tea! I like that it’s a green tea. Call me silly, but I really don’t need another black tea. (I definitely would never turn one down though!) This is a nice change of pace and thus far has earned a permanent place in my tea corner – or until it is no longer revived.

Confession time: I did cheat on this a little. I had read before that JacquelineM added a finely chopped up vanilla bean to ATR’s Vanilla Noir. Because it worked so well for that, I threw caution to the wind and did the same for Shamrock, balancing out the mint just a bit more.

Brewed really strong for iced tea and still got a few more steeps out of it – 3 if I remember correctly. When I cold brewed the last steep overnight, I was greeted with a punch of mint the next day. I was really surprised the mint lasted that long. It was, dare I say, a little too minty, but still drinkable with a healthy dose of sugar and ice.

It’s heaven with a splash of vanilla-mint simple syrup!

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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It’s suppose to be hot here – like upper 80’s, low 90’s hot. I’m not looking forward to this, especially with any added humidity there might be…

So I’m trying to prepare. I currently have in the fridge a fruity white tea and a vanilla mint green. When it gets hot, I usually crave a sweeter non-black tea (because I start my day with black tea). So I’m trying this cold.

Brewed the usual hot way I use 4 tea bags for 32 ounces of water, brought to a boil and steeped for just over 5 minutes. Let it cool and stick it in the fridge to get friendly with the other iced teas.

I really don’t like the taste of this unsweetened. Don’t get me wrong, it tastes sweet without adding anything extra to it. I believe it to be the licorice root as Aveda’s Comforting Tea also has this in it – both I’m not crazy about. And for a vanilla rooibos, Tazo’s tastes apple-y. Again not a bad thing, but it’s not really what I want out of a vanilla rooibos. My remedy for this: homemade vanilla syrup.

So I’m always up in the air about getting a new tin. I like it, but it has to be doctored – usually with some vanilla syrup. :-/

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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Husband is away on business for a couple nights leaving me alone. I usually don’t sleep well when he’s gone. Hoping Caramel & Rum helps me sleep…

Upon opening the bag, all I smell is booze. No hint of caramel. Used 2.5 tsp for 10 oz of water. Steeped this for the full amount of time and the smell of caramel filled my cup. Unsweetened, I find this pretty blah. No caramel; no rum – all rooibos.

I’m determined to make this taste better. Post sweetener it tastes the same, just a sweeter kind of blah. Some half & half added to the cup and I taste a faint bit of caramel.

I think I’m going to have to use an extra tsp next time for the same amount of water – hopefully the next cup will turn out better.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

this one was weird I thought.

Will Work For Tea

Agreed – I did find some caramel syrup in the cupboard. That seems to help, but I don’t want to rely on that to make it palatable…

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Took this with me while I was out of the house and I could not stop drinking it! Coconut and chocolate – sinful on a Sunday morning!

I tried cold brewing this for 11 hours – not great for how I was planning on using it (iced and dirty). This really needs to be brewed the regular way, then iced if it’s to be enjoyed cold. So I reused the 3 teabags in about 4 ounces of boiling water and added that to the cold water the bags had been spending the night in. So much better! Threw it in my tumbler with ice a bit of sweetener and a tad of milk – AWESOME! Really glad I stock up on this one!

I am a little confused: How much caffeine does this really have? Bought a few boxes of this delicious tea at my local big box retailer. On Tea Forté’s box of 16 filterbags it states there “contains very little caffeine”. However on the company’s website it states the caffeine level is “robust”. The ingredient list is the same on both the box and website. I will use this in the morning or afternoon as it does contain some black tea in it.

Boiling 4 min, 30 sec

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Green tea is not my favorite generally, but I’m trying really hard to find ways to like it. I was attracted to this tea initially because it is very pretty with the blue cornflowers and rose petals (?). The added “tropical fruit flavors” is what sold me. The dry leaves are very broken in my tin, hence messy to clean out of my brewer.

I’m trying to use this up because its using a precious tin that could be used to house a tea that I like more. I used A LOT of leaf for a bolder taste iced tea, yet there’s still some in the tin. sigh Paradise Green has been in my cupboard for more than a year – ridiculous because of the copious amount of tea I have in any given day.

This isn’t a tea that I like hot, so that already limits how often I drink it. Now that I live in an area that actually gets four distinct seasons, I’m really hoping that I’ll drink this more – in the summer.

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I have found a lot of Lupicia’s flavored green teas work well when you cold brew them, you should try it!

Will Work For Tea

Luckily, I still have enough to do so – thanks for the suggestion! :)

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Afternoon dessert: Iced Strawberry Pie Honeybush Latte! I made a big batch of this a couple days ago and sampled it. It saddened me a little because I really love it latte-style, hot. So I put it in the fridge and kind of forgot about it.

Here I am now reminded that I need to drink it. I think the tea ended up making nice with the milk because it’s so much better now! So note to self: Make this ahead of time if it’s to be enjoyed cold. It is a smidge better as a hot latte, but also a pretty great caffeine free iced version too.

Boiling 8 min or more

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I’m a native Midwesterner (Iowa, specifically) who was happily uprooted to California twice. SoCal is what I consider home, even though I currently don’t live there. I hope to return home again!

Tea has really come to fill the void of my current displacement. My husband & I (with our two tiny weenies) moved to Indiana hardly knowing a soul. It’s been a tougher transition for me than I’d thought it would be. I have amassed a cupboard of teas to keep me company until I feel more familiar in my newer surroundings.

I will refrain from giving numerical values to teas because I am a faddist. My likes and dislikes are constantly changing. Flavored blacks are what I gravitate to the most. Having said that, I do enjoy a wide variety of teas – you name it, I’ll try it. I may not like it today, but I might revisit it later and love it.

Flavor note: I prefer my teas to be bold in flavor. I am starting to come around to drinking tea without additives. But I do like to dirty my tea with rock sugar/simple syrup and sometimes with half-n-half/milk. Unflavored greens are unsweetened, but flavored greens I usually add rock sugar. Lately I have been favoring flavored guayusa and matés.



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