64 Tasting Notes


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I really thought I would like this tea, so I bought a lot of it. Oops. It is proving to be not to my taste for reasons I can’t quite figure out. The scent is very floral and full of peach blossoms, and the ginger is definitely present in the aftertaste. There is nothing wrong with this tea. And yet…nope, not doing it for me. I’ll drink my way through what I have of it – it’s not objectionable – but it’s definitely not going to be a tea I grab for when I want comfort-tea or pleasure-tea; this is what I’m going to drink when I go, “I need a cup of something warm and decaf and I don’t care what it tastes like.” (I got the decaf version. That shouldn’t be part of it, but it might be.)

Possibly I’ll decant a bunch of mine into smaller tins and give them to friends who also like peach and ginger. It’s possible it will work for them in ways it does not work for me. Oh well – can’t win them all.

Flavors: Floral

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drank Underworld by Friday Afternoon
64 tasting notes

There is a very strong smell of cherry to this tea, but the smell doesn’t make it into my mouth, alas. The chocolate, on the other hand, is definitely there. I could also taste the chicory blending in with the cherry. I couldn’t make out the pomegranate, alas.

It was nice enough, but I’m not blown away, nor do I feel the need to acquire more, though if I end up needing to round out an order, I could easily see myself using it as a topper-off.

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PEPPERCORNS. Hello peppercorns! Yes, I like you too, would you mind settling down for a bit so I can see what else is in there? No? Ah.

When I work at it, I can tell there’s ginger in there. I can smell the anise and the licorice, but I can only taste them in the aftertaste – or, interestingly, once my mug has gone cold. In the full flush heat of the initial sip, I cannot. Fortunately, they are subtle enough to sneak past the peppercorns – did I mention peppercorns? – to add body to the tea without me noticing it. But when this tea is hot, mostly what I notice is red and black are having a nice big argument in my mug over which one of them is Queen of Most Pepperiness. :-)

I don’t mind – I wouldn’t have bought this tea if I did not like pepper, and also, the tea is not heat-spicy, it has the flavor of pepper with no burn to it. I bought this as a sample to split with a friend, and I will probably buy a small container of it to keep on the “every so often” shelf. In the future, I might cut it with a little extra ceylon to give it some low notes – the pepper is hot and high enough that I’m missing the umame of my normal tea flavors. Or maybe I’ll just keep it as is, and only have it on days when I want a hot thin tea.

Edited to add: Oof. OK, this tea is quite tasty, but those peppercorns are a lot fiercer than they let on – this is a tea to drink in small pots, not my usual 24 ounce monsters. Because otherwise, you’re putting a lot of pepper oils into your stomach all at once, and the result can be moderately painful. (Oops. :)

Flavors: Licorice, Pepper

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec 14 g 24 OZ / 709 ML

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First attempt: tried it straight, brewing 14g for five minutes in the same 24 ounce pot I usually brew my black tea in. It smells fabulous and…doesn’t have much of a taste. That’s frustrating. I would like to try brewing it stronger, possibly with some decaf tea leaves mixed in for body, but right now, this hasn’t made much of an impression on me – which is a shame because it should be full of the flavors I love. I’ll try again.

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I love coconut. This tea, while perfectly adequate, is insufficiently coconutty for my preferences. (Alas. My quest for the perfect – available! – coconut tea continues.) There is definitely some coconut in there; I could taste it. But it wasn’t sufficiently full-mouth-feel for me.

Like most Upton Teas, I had no problems with this one, and like most Upton Teas, it was sufficiently indistinguishable from other teas that I probably won’t buy it again. Nothing wrong with it, just not right for me. The quest continues.

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drank Cinnamon Fig by Art of Tea
64 tasting notes

I got a sample of this tea along with many others, and forgot how much I enjoy it. The cinnamon flavor is pronounced but not overpowering, and while the fig isn’t strongly figgy (possibly that’s because I associate “fig” with “crunching seeds between my teeth” instead of “drinking a pleasant tea”) it does a fine job of being a fruit undertone that lends a depth to the flavor of the cinnamon that can otherwise be lacking. (I’m looking at you, overpowered chais.)

I would probably buy this again and keep it on the shelf of “occasional” teas, if it were still available. Oh well.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Fruity

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drank Ohana by Tea & Absinthe
64 tasting notes

The pineapple is very pronounced in this one, and there are heavy overtones of citrusy-flavor in here – I expect that’s the passion-fruit. I find I’m not enjoying this one particularly, though I’m sure that someone who likes the more tropical fruits would likely do so. The acidic mouth-feel of it is not to my taste, and while it didn’t curdle with my usual splash of milk in it, I suspect this is a tea that would do better with a little bit of lemon and perhaps a touch of honey. Since I got it as a free sample along with a bunch of my usual favorites from T&A, I’m not going to test this hypothesis, however.

No recommendation on this one – if you like tropical, you’ll probably like it? But if you don’t, you probably won’t.

Flavors: Citrus, Pineapple

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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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