60 Tasting Notes

drank Chestnut by Adagio Teas
60 tasting notes

Every year, my friends and I do a Secret Tea Swap – you can either send tea from your stash, or you can order something to be delivered. This year, a friend sent me Adagio’s Chestnut tea along with a bunch of others. (Golden Yunnan, which I already knew I adored, and several others.) Having had mixed luck with some of Adagio’s teas, I tried it carefully.

And I was absolutely delighted. I’ve reordered it twice at this point. There is a lovely nuttiness to this tea, not bitter like walnut or sweet like almond, but truly hazel-chestnut like. I love it with a splash of milk, and I brew it quite strong – 4 minutes at 180F. (Not hotter, it gets unhappy at a full boil.)

This is now one of my staple “OK, I need a tea that’s going to last me all morning,” teas, and I can rebrew the leaves twice, though usually I’ll only do it once. Definitely a keeper.

Flavors: Chestnut, Hazelnut


Awww a secret tea swap sounds fun!


We do it every year, around the winter solstice. It makes for happy tea drinkers.

Cameron B.

What a cute idea, I love tea swaps!

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I got a tasting packet of teas from Friday Afternoon because I was in the mood to try a bunch of new stuff, and said, “Send me random teas.” So they did.

It’s an Earl Grey I don’t instantly loathe! This is saying something positive for me, but not necessarily for anyone else? It is, however, still discerneably an Earl Grey – I can taste the bergamot pretty clearly, and as usual, my reaction to bergamot is “nope nope nope nope.” So, not for me, but nothing wrong with it if you like Earl Grey. Otherwise, the chocolate is definitely there, and I can’t taste the orange or vanilla at all.

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drank Peachy Dream by Friday Afternoon
60 tasting notes

I can smell the peach and strawberry, but the hazelnut that is hypothetically in there eludes me. It didn’t do anything in particular for me? Nothing wrong with it, it was simply “there.” For someone who’s big on peach tea, definitely worth a try.

(I got a sample pack for the fun of it, this was one of the ones in it. Hence trying it and going, “Yup, tea, that’s fine.”)

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drank Pina Colada by Adagio Teas
60 tasting notes

It smells like a Pina Colada, which is wonderful.

It tastes like hibiscus, with more hibiscus, and then some pina colada aftertaste. Less wonderful, alas. I’m glad I only got a sampler of this one, I will not be picking it up again.

Flavors: Hibiscus

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drank Kentucky Bourbon by Adagio Teas
60 tasting notes

Nothing wrong with it, but the Lapsang Souchong is too strong for my taste.

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I am definitely enjoying this tea – a friend gave it to me as a “welcome to the office!” gift. Lightly malted, I’m having trouble smelling individual notes right now because I’m in the midst of an annoying allergy attack (curse you ragweed) but there’s a very smooth taste in there that reminds me more of Assam than Ceylon. My friend recommended it with a tiny bit of milk, because it’s sweet enough on its own to not need sweetener, and she’s right. I might even try this one straight, which I do not usually do because I find there’s too much tannin in pure black tea. The aftertaste is also quite pleasant, and doesn’t leave my mouth feeling “sticky.”

The tea itself has large, intact leaves that are twisted into long skinny tendrils that unroll beautifully in my loose leaf pot. (This has the added joyous benefit of making them very easy to get OUT of the pot after I’m done brewing.) Second brew is only slightly less flavorful than the first, another added bonus. :-)

I brewed both the first and second steeps 4 minutes with the water going into the pot at a rolling boil. Definitely will try to keep this one on hand.

The package lists the URL to find it here: https://www.yuchi.org.tw/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=373

Flavors: Malt, Sweet

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I adore this tea. I buy a bulk bag of it every October or so, when it comes back into stock, and drink it through the year. It’s got lovely spicy notes in it plus juniper, which I adore and haven’t found in many teas.

Flavors: Spices

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drank Tavern Brawl by D & Tea
60 tasting notes

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drank Tavern Brawl by D & Tea
60 tasting notes

This tea would be absolutely perfect for me…if it didn’t have that honeybush note in it. Blah. I have become increasingly sensitive to the flavors of honeybush and rooibus over the years, and I don’t like them. This is extremely annoying because they otherwise ruin what would be lovely cups of tea for me.

I can definitely taste the cocoa and coconut in here, and the vanilla is there in the nose. I think for my next attempt on this one, I may mix it 70%-30% with some Upton Tea puerh, to see if I can knock the honeybush down a bit and punch up the proper tea flavor.

I would totally recommend this tea – if you like honeybush. If it’s not your jam, then be warned that there are Honeybush Kobolds lurking in this tea.

ETA: Nope, the Puerh overwhelms the cocoa and coconut more than I want. Hm. I wonder if Assam would work. (I’m not looking to put herbal supplements in my tea at this time, I drink enough tea that I would worry about overdosing.)

Flavors: Cocoa, Coconut, Vanilla

Sierge Krьstъ

try gotu kola to neutralise taste as well slowly boil from cold

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Oo, this one is definitely different from my usual tea type. I’m going to have to have it more than once.

The first thing that hits me is the pine smoke smell – which is one that I’m very fond of, but not at all used to having in my tea. The anise and chocolate almost disappear underneath it while the tea is still very hot, but once it’s cooled a bit, they sneak out in the aftertaste quite nicely.

This tea definitely needs a few minutes to settle after it’s brewed; the flavors blend more, and the smoke settles down to an astringent sort of flavor that is quite strong but not overpowering.

I’m certainly not sorry I got it, though I’m not sure if it’s a regular keeper for me. (I have a couple of friends who are very fond of smoked teas and I want to see what they think of it.) I can see why it got the name it did – this tea is the sort one would be drinking next to a fireplace on a cold rainy night when the power’s gone out. It’s the right sort of flavor for that. (Not for a sunny morning in April when the cherry blossoms are going gangbusters outside my window so much. But that’s all right – I have a functional imagination.)

If you don’t like smoke, this is definitely not a good tea for you. Otherwise, I quite like it for what it is.

Flavors: Smoke


On a second brewing, I believe I can conclusively say that this tea is not intended for me except on the aforementioned “stormy evening with a fire,” but it’s still definitely itself, aromatic and smokey.

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95-100: I will keep this on my shelf at all times if possible.
85-94: This tea is probably in active rotation in my house and getting drunk a lot (or it’s about to be).
75-84: I liked it. I will probably keep a small tin of it around.
65-74: I liked it. I might keep a small tin of it around, but I will not mourn its loss if it disappears from sale.
50-64: Meh.
0-49: No.

I like real tea (camellia sinensis). Black with milk and no sugar, unless it’s a really froofy chai latte. Green with no milk.

I’ve discovered through trial and error that I really don’t like Rooibus, even when it’s mixed with black tea. (Sadly.)

Herbal tisanes are not out of the running, but I have to be in the right mood and they have to be sufficiently strongly powered that I don’t miss the tea leaves.

By preference, I drink loose-leaf, but I will drink bagged tea if it’s good enough.

My icon is a piece of fantastic art by Ursula Vernon called Cattail Tea.

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