911 Tasting Notes

drank Spearmint & Cream Blend by Custom
911 tasting notes

I am sick.

Correction: The husband got me sick.

I need mint.

This is mint.

I feel better. But I am still sick.


Aww…feel better, Auggy!


Family germs…nothing like it!


oh man, I just got over a really bad stomach bug. hope you feel better soon.


Feel better! I am still sick and it is no fun!


Feel better Auggy! :(


Oh poor thing. Feel better soon!!


Poor Auggy! :( I hope he spoils you rotten, the bugger. ;)


Duuuude! You’re sick! That’s bogus! Feel better!


total bummer, dude.


Ugh. This time of year is so bad for that. I hope you get well in a hurry! In the meantime, enjoy many cups of excellent tea. Not that you don’t try to do that anyway, I guess. ;)


Aw, thanks all! I feel pretty horrid still and have been sleeping all day but more tea is soon on the way! Fortunately, the husband is about over his so he will be able to take care of me! :)

Cynthia Carter

I think this is what they mean by “in sickness and in health.” When he gets sick, you get sick. You can take turns making each other tea. Marriage is truly romantic, isn’t it? Especially with a runny nose.

I hope you both feel much better soon.


Hehe! Ah, marriage! The guaranteed passing of germs from one spouse to the other. Though I’ll tell you a secret – no matter who is sick, I always make the tea. Poor hubby still has issues making a decent cup.

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drank Moorish Mint by Samovar
911 tasting notes

This tea seems to have quickly become the ‘go-to’ tea for when my honey feels sinus-y unpleasantness. It’s a great mint tea that has a warm depth and sweetness to it that makes it very friendly on unhappy nasal passages. Very refreshing and comforting, all rolled into one.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec
Robert Godden

Yes, mint is great for the head.

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drank English Caramel by Lupicia
911 tasting notes

This smells nice. A true caramel scent but not overly sweet. Which makes sense since it is supposed to be bittersweet. I really like the smell. It’s somewhat like salt water taffy, but in a caramel flavor.

It smells more caramel than it tastes though. It’s more of a burnt caramel – there is definitely some bitter but not bitter like it’s been brewed too long since the bitter comes at the front of the taste, not the end and it is much too smooth of a bitter to be from overbrewing. It doesn’t cause me to make a funny face or anything. It’s a controlled bitter that would pair wonderfully with sweet… if there were more sweet that followed it up. Instead the taste transitions smoothly into an almost cocoa powder taste, then a nice (but still) default tea taste.

Contrary to my previously stated desire to have more sweet in this, I decided to add a splash of milk to the second half of my cup. I blame the cocoa-like notes. With the milk in it, the transition of tastes turns into a melding and this turns into a pretty nice post-dessert tea. Not a dessert tea – it’s not sweet enough for that – but something good to end a rich meal on in lieu of coffee. It makes me think of tiramisu actually, which always struck me as having too much bitter with the cocoa powder to be a proper dessert (I prefer things that are so sweet and rich you will go into sugar shock by the end of the dish).

That being said, I do enjoy this but it isn’t the sweet caramel I was hoping for. I can definitely see it as an after dinner coffee-like drink to wash down that super-rich dessert I’d pick. I might try this with sugar but I might not. It almost seems a shame to make the mild bitter go away.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

Somehow, I love the idea of a caramelly, slightly bitter post-dessert tea. Maybe because it sounds like yummy coffee..


Good solid JUST CARAMEL tea is becoming my Holy Grail.

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drank Irish Breakfast by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

And now I’m out of this one too. I’m pretty sad about that. This isn’t the best Irish Breakfast ever or anything. There is a little something missing that would push it over the edge and into that category for me, if I could just figure out what it is. But until I find the ultimate Irish Breakfast, I’ll probably do my best to have this one on hand because it is pretty darn good.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

I was sad when I ran out of this, but I’m not anymore because I have my delicious English breakfast instead =]

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drank Blackberry by Adagio Teas
911 tasting notes

I’m out of this now. And I’m okay with that.


Ahhh…finishing teas I don’t like. It feels good, doesn’t it?


And it’s so hard to do, too! Which probably adds to the feeling of accomplishment. Yay!

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drank Jasmine Pearls by Golden Moon Tea
911 tasting notes

This is nice. Very light, bordering a bit on perfume-y but not crossing over and I’m not getting a ton of tea taste from it, but it is still nice. No nasty aftertaste or obnoxiousness, just a soft jasmine. Not too complex, not a big depth of flavor and more jasmine than tea, but sometimes the tea taste in a jasmine can turn me off so this avoids that problem.

Overall, it’s pretty inoffensive. Just a jasmine tea. I know I keep saying it’s nice, but it is. I can’t really go farther than that, though. Nothing bad is going on in it, but there’s nothing stupendous either. It’s just nice. I feel like I’m damning it with faint praise but I just can’t get all that excited about this tea. But I it doesn’t make me think icky thoughts either so that’s gotta count for something, right?

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
911 tasting notes

I so love this tea.
But now I am out of it.
I must order more.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Haha sounded like a sad haiku :(

Jane Quigley

I just reordered my favorite Almond Cookie, because of your post. Thank you!


Yay, I still have this!
But soon it will be finished.
Must make order soon!


@TeaCast – It was a sad haiku. I’m so talented! Okay, maybe not.

@Jane Quigley – Hah! Glad I could help!

@teaplz – I have so many places on my ‘next place to order from’ list. It is sad.


Auggy, I think my next three are going to be American Tea Room, Rishi, and The Simple Leaf. Samovar to follow after that. AHH




@teaplz – I can’t even guess where my next order will actually be from. I really need oolongs so some place that does them well.

@takgoti – Yay! Thank you! I wanted to include that but I was only 1 syllable off of a haiku before I thought to make it a haiku. So no room for the fridge. :(

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drank Chocolate Monkey by Art of Tea
911 tasting notes

Much thanks to teaplz for the chance to try this tea! Honestly, since it is rooibos and banana, I never would taken the risk of buying this on my own. But is has ‘monkey’ in the name, so I really wanted to.

Right off the bat I’m a little nervous. The leaves smell like it has gone off. I don’t think it has actually gone bad. I think that’s the rooibos. And the fright grows once I pour the tea into my cup. I was hoping for some chocolate or even some monkey. But instead it looks like I get full on rooibos. I’m scared. Hold me.

Sipping it’s not quite as horrible as the smell. There is… taste… before the rooibos hits. The problem is, when the rooibos hits, it hits hard. And it doesn’t blend with or accentuate the other flavors that pop up at the beginning of the sip. It battles against them and kicks their collective butt. The initial smell is now banana and rooibos and then the sip is banana and then rooibos and then ROOIBOS. Where’s my chocolate? And I can’t pick out the apple (though maybe that’s some of the sweetness at the beginning with the quick banana taste) or the pink peppercorns (and they are pink! I wanted to pick them out!)

Ultimately this is too much rooibos for me. The other tastes in the tea are too mild to make the rooibos step back so it just ends up being too much for me to deal with well. I’ll be able to finish the cup but I don’t think I’m going to be crying out for more rooibos monkey.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

Completely unrelated: the thumbnail of the picture of this tea looks like an insect that is leaning to the left.

Also, too bad about the tea. I mean…it’s chocolate! And monkey! Come on, tea!


I have that same problem with rooibos. I’ve only tried a handful of blends that have it that I really like.


@takgoti – Your mind scares me sometimes but I mean that with love. And you are right… it’s a leaning insect. And I can’t stop staring.

@fcmonroe – Can you suggest some blends that you’ve had luck with? I like the idea of decaf rooibos (or other) blends to have at night, I’m just having trouble finding things that I’d actually want to drink.


Auggy, Lena may also have some suggestions for you too. She’s got some that she likes, I think. :)


Thanks! I will go stalk Lena for some ideas!

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drank Formosa Oolong by Tavalon Tea
911 tasting notes

Our washer is leaking. From somewhere. Don’t know exactly what’s going on. It’s not fun. I need tea to deal. This one looks like a Jade Oolong, which I tend to enjoy, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Though my tea? Looks nothing like the picture here. What’s up with that?

Initially there is a funky almost plastic smell to it but that’s gone now that the tea is no longer quite as hot. I’m starting to think that my slightly stuffy nose is heavily (and detrimentally) impacting my tea-tasting abilities because I’m not tasting a whole lot. Sweetness in a fruity way… and that’s about it. And then a few seconds after I swallow there is a really sweet aftertaste. Almost like… strawberries? I have no clue. It’s really sweet and really there but it’s also really brief.

The body is pretty thin and light. But it’s nice, too. And seems to be getting more taste the cooler it gets. Now that I’ve said strawberry, that’s pretty much all I’m able to taste. And I taste it a lot. With a quick dash of Splenda taste at the end. Eventually a little bit of the typical Jade oolong green taste comes in, too. This tea really seems to benefit from cooling down. I’m actually kind of groovin’ on it. It’s weird, but I like it.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Hope you figured your washer out. Also glad you enjoyed this tea. I’ve been avoiding it, and I think it’s about due for another go.


Am I supposed to be tasting strawberries in it or am I insane? Because even the second steep was strawberry filled. Now don’t get me wrong, I love strawberries. But it’s just weird to taste it in an oolong.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

Hope you get your washer fixed up soon. Maybe the strawberries are caused by the stuffy nose.


@Auggy I haven’t a clue. I remember mine being fruity, though I don’t remember any specific fruit tastes. I’ll let you know when I try it again?


I actually had the husband taste it and asked him if he got strawberries from it. His response was “Totally” but I never fully rule out the power of suggestion. Of course, now that it has been suggested to you…

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I like the tiny little pellets of leaves that make up this tea. It’s cute.

This certainly smells smokey but it smells cigarette smokey to me, not the more attractive and sweet cigar smokey. I think teaplz once described a smokey tea as smelling like wet ash and I think that is the prefect description of this tea’s smell. Not all that appetizing for me.

Thankfully it doesn’t taste like wet ash. The smokey taste is actually pretty mild. There’s also not the salty taste I associate with so many Chinese greens. It doesn’t have the same sweetness but otherwise makes me think of a much more delicate and green version of lapsang souchong. Actually, maybe a little too delicate. I think I might want a little more depth in the flavor. I get a nice taste when I first sip, but it pretty much disappears when I swallow and then a sort of post-fire feel of smokiness coats my mouth. I want a little more oomph in the taste as I swallow – an increase in flavor instead of a decrease. On the other hand though, I feel that if there were more oomph in the flavor, I might end up with a too-strong taste of brine or wet ash. So maybe more delicate is good in this.

As it cools I start to get a little more flavor but it is a little flatter than the taste when hot and there is a little astringency that is starting up at the very back of my mouth. But it’s still pretty good. Better than I was expecting. I think this might be a good beginner’s gunpowder. And I would include myself in that ‘beginner’ category. But it’s got the gunpowder characteristics but not so overpowering that they are offensive. Not something I’m going to have to buy but I’ve got one more cup left of leaves and it won’t be hard for me to finish it off.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

To me, this one was a cross between Adagio’s Gunpowder and Rishi’s Jade Fire. Very bizarre and interesting, but not that bad!


Fortunately I have some of Adagio’s so I can compare. Yay! ;)


Do compare! I have a little left over as well.


Oh yeah! I forgot I sent that to you! :D Hehe, do compare the three! It’s quite interesting, and this one is definitely the most middle-of-the-road out of the three, by far!


I’m so glad you mentioned cigarettes. I thought I was going a bit mad when I inhaled the aroma and thought of them!

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I’m trying to be a better tea logger and actually post semi-regularly again! I’ve let my tea tasting senses become too complacent – it’s time for some focused and attentive tea drinking!

Sometimes my notices for PMs and such have been questionable. Email me at your own risk at aug3zimm at gmail dot com.

1 – 10 – Bleck. Didn’t finish the cup.
11 – 25 – Drinkable. But don’t punish me by making me have it again.
26 – 40 – Meh. Most likely will see if the husband likes it iced.
41 – 60 – Okayish. Maybe one day I’ll kill off what I have in my pantry.
61 – 75 – Decent. I might pick some up if I needed tea.
76 – 85 – Nice. I’d probably buy but wouldn’t hunt it down.
86 – 100 – Yum! I will hunt down the vendor to get this tea!

Not that anyone but me particularly cares, but there it is.





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