63 Tasting Notes

The last time I had this (which was also the first time) I used the whole 7g sample. I really enjoyed it, and found out that I actually don’t mind a gentle smokiness in my tea! But this time I’ve decided to try it with just 3.5g but everything else the same: 200ml at 90C and steeps of 1, 2 and 3 minutes.
1st steep: I do really like the scent of this tea dry, wet, and in the cup. The malty grains with gentle smoke and some caramel appear in all forms of the tea. It’s a really pretty dark copper even after just one minute. I forgot that this is a smooth tea; I was expecting some astringency, but I think that’s because I remembered rightly that it leaves a powdery feeling on my tongue. I actually really enjoy the smoky caramel flavor in this. It’s causing me to think of making some caramel sometime soon.
2nd steep: I’ve been able to drink most of this cup without concentrating on it. That’s not a bad thing, though the kids are mostly the cause of it. This tea puts me in a good mood I’m finding, and I’ve just been running around playing with my two little ones. In any case once I’ve returned to my cooling cup, I can notice the same flavors as before but they’re weaker and joined by floral notes.

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This is a smooth blend with juicy orange and warming spices that I made to replace a “Christmas” tea that I’d run out of. Maybe not as complete as that original tea, but still very good and made out of what I had on hand. Hubby will ask for this as a morning cup, and that makes it rather rare so I’m happy to oblige! Haven’t tried it cold yet (probably without the added cinnamon stick), but I bet it’d be pretty good!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec

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drank China Jasmine by T2
63 tasting notes

The super sweet scent of this in dry form actually enticed Hubby to have some with me during dinner tonight! I mean, it really is very sweet-smelling, and Hubby’s got a very big sweet tooth. It was nice to have with Korean bulgogi tonight, but maybe the actual sweetness of the marinade overtook the sweetness from the jasmine aroma so I noticed more of the bitterness in the tea this time. Still enjoyable and a nice change from the usual iced tea with dinner, but I’ll try another tea with Korean next time. Sencha worked well before; maybe Genmaicha Sencha next.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

I had to look up bulgogi, but it sounds very good!

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This is my first true Darjeeling I’ve prepared for myself. I really love how Adagio’s samples are both large and very affordable. It gives you good opportunity to try a new tea in absolute peace, not having to worry that if you mess this one up there won’t be enough to try again.

I’m using 2.3g for 200ml boiling water, and steeps of 3 and 4 minutes.
1st steep: The dry leaves smell of yeast, freshly baked bread crusts and white grapes, maybe with a hint of vanilla. (I think I can smell that last one, but I have no idea if that’s supposed to be there or not. Are my nose and brain playing games with me?) The wet leaves have that same bread crust scent with some juiciness, but I am also surprised by a quick blast of sweet spices. I like that! In the cup (I wish I could have more than one way of saying that) it is a deep amber color and tastes very much as the scent of the wet leaves. The grape aspect has a sharpness to it, the way the acid plays with the sweetness when you bite through a grape, particularly if it has a thicker skin.
2nd steep: The color is a medium amber this time, and seems to tell the tale for this cup being weaker than the first. The astringency is the same, but the flavors are less this time to the point that the grape notes are hardly noticeable. I originally planned to steep this time for 5 minutes, but at the last decided to try just 4 minutes, only to find that I probably should have stuck to my first thought.

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drank Sencha Vanilla by T2
63 tasting notes

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I’ve only had Darjeeling once before in a tea room, so I’m not sure I’ll know what I should be looking for in this, a tea that is said to be similar to a Darjeeling. But in any case, here’s what I found.

I used 2.3g for 200ml of boiling water and did steeps of 2, 3 and 4 minutes. And I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment, so this note will more than likely be a simple blow-by-blow commentary.
1st steep: There was a fair range of color in the dry leaf, from creamy buds and tiny light green leaves to the red- and greasy-brown twists that made up the great majority of this tea. The scents were of bright grape and malt with a background of straw. In the cup it was a light honey color and quite astringent with a slight bitterness. There were flavors of rosy florals and ripe fruit (whether grapes or stone fruit, I couldn’t tell) with a gentle matinees.
2nd steep: I had this with lunch, a creamy chicken salad sandwich, so the astringency of this cut through that nicely. A good pairing. But prior to that, when pouring into my cup I was struck with a scent of peach that made me happy. That the color this time was more peachy was a nice coincidence. I felt the same astringency and bitterness, but since I was eating at the same time, I didn’t get anything new in this cup that wasn’t in the first.
3rd steep: The color is more orange now, and the astringency takes a couple of sips to be noticeable. I could taste fruits and florals, but overall quite weak on flavor.

These must be the most boring notes I’ve written yet about a new tea, so if you’ve got this far, good on you. Going to start a new pot of something else now.

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drank Caramel Matcha by Red Leaf Tea
63 tasting notes

I was going to not keep logging every time I have a matcha that I’ve already reviewed since I have one everyday, but I’m coming back to this to up my rating for it! The truth is that I love caramel, but not necessarily caramel-flavored things, know what I mean? So while I enjoyed this enough as more or less a novelty as a matcha latte, the fact is that this is a fantastic mixer with other flavors whether that’s another matcha or in a smoothie with fruit or what-have-you.

It took me returning to a favorite cafe/patisserie over the weekend to make me realise what makes this caramel matcha and banana smoothie so wonderful. With the additions of good vanilla yogurt and some cinnamon, I’ve created a banofee pie smoothie! For the uninitiated, banofee pie is a British pie or tart made with banana and caramel (toffee) and cream, and is an absolute delight.

Australians, and particularly Sydneysiders, get yourselves to Camden and visit the Creme della Creme Cafe. You will have died and gone to pastry heaven! (And their meat pies can’t be beat either!)

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I am really having a problem with overcoming the munchies today. I want something savoury, I want something sweet, I just want… something. I’ve only made part of this sample pack once before, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as several reviews had me fearing. I think this will do the trick for me today. It’s not overly sweet, even though it is a dessert tea. And with a splash of milk it may help me feel like I’ve had more than just a drink. Between the sweet potato, spices and crust flavors, it should just balance out all my cravings.

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I’m an American-Australian living in Sydney with my Aussie husband, very active toddler girl and bouncing baby boy. I need tea to get me just to Lil’ Man’s morning nap, let alone the rest of the day. I’m a newbie to the world of pure teas (and loving every sip of it!), having delighted in flavored teas and blends for years. The hardest part seems to be getting the teas to Australia without exorbitant shipping costs.


Sydney, Australia



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