323 Tasting Notes


Thanks to Fong Mong Tea for this sample!

I’ve been on a bit of an oolong kick lately, but at the moment my permanent collection is mostly greens and herbals. I dug through my sample box until I found the last one from Fong Mong.

The leaves are dark brown and tightly rolled, and there are little stems mixed in with the leaves. It smells dark and kind of earthy, (the word “snail” comes to mind) but I’m also getting the feeling of seaweed, like ocean rocks covered in bracken and barnacles.

Steeped 6g/10oz, 180deg, 3min.

It tastes dark to me. There’s an earthiness, woodsiness to it that I’m not entirely fond of. I can certainly taste the charcoal flavoring here. I think it’s just my personal preference for the lighter, greener oolongs speaking. I’m also getting some honey notes and a toastiness not unlike a genmaicha.

All in all, it satisfied my oolong craving, but it’s not something I have a burning desire to keep in my collection.

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tastes like freedom.

Happy 4th everyone!

My sister grabbed this out of the sample bin the last time I was at Virtuous, and I assiduously waited until today to try it. I poured the whole sample into my ingenuiTEA, steeped 3 minutes at 212.

It’s a beautiful peachy-red color. The Yunnan in the blend really comes out; it’s not as much Assam or Ceylon as one might ordinarily find in a breakfast blend. It was incredibly strong, verging on bitter, with a lot of astringency, so I added a liberal amount of milk and a bit of sugar. I’m a wimp when it comes to strong blacks!

It’s good. It’s a well-rounded black blend, and the Yunnan lends a sort of peppery flavor that one doesn’t ordinarily find. It’s a bit malty, but not overwhelmingly so.

All in all, it’s good. I don’t really love the breakfast genre of teas, but I enjoy this one. I might consider purchasing a few ounces of this to take back to school for those days when I do want something a bit stronger.

(Also, is it bad that I’m drinking American-themed tea in a British tea mug? shhhh, don’t tell.)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I always feel guilty about drinking my silver needles. Because it costs more than most of the teas in my collection… but then I never drink it! I suppose it’s one of those special occasion sorts of teas.

Today’s not really a special occasion… I just wanted something light and sweet. I steeped this hot and then poured over ice.

This is how you do jasmine. It’s barely there, just a hint, and it doesn’t overpower in the slightest. The tea has a very soft mouthfeel, almost like I’m drinking the fuzz coating the needles (which, come to think of it, I probably am). It looks colorless while pouring, but in the glass it’s a chrysanthemum color.

Upping the rating a tad because I’m happy about this right now!

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Thanks to Fong Mong Tea for this very generous sample!

Several months ago a friend sent me a sample of a Tung Ting that I loved. Of course, the tea shop is halfway across the country and doesn’t have a website. Since then the memory of that tea has been sitting there in my head, and I’ve tried oolong after oolong looking for a similar one… but I was always disappointed.

Until now.

Oh, I love this. The leaves are small and tightly rolled, shiny and bright and soft green. I used the whole 6 gram sample for 16oz, brewing western style because the bowl part of my tasting set has disappeared!

The scent is very light, sweet and a little green, with light floral notes. And the flavor is also very light and sweet, with a base “oolong” sort of flavor – warm and green. It’s like a spring day, when the air is cool and the sun glints through the grass and the wind smells vaguely of the sea.

Fantastic oolong, and I’m so glad to have tried this! Thank you Fong Mong Tea!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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The taste of this is a little pale to me – I think I added too much milk. I’ve been drinking straight EG lately and I forgot how light this was. It’s very creamy and sweet and smooth.

I placed a massive order with Adagio yesterday, and I really appreciate living in Eastern Mass for the summer… as we fall within Adagio’s one-day shipping! (As opposed to, you know, the two-day shipping at school, but you know.) I can’t WAIT to try these new ones! Lots of blacks and oolongs :)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Peppermint by Harney & Sons
323 tasting notes

Today was a bad day, panicky and strung-out. I went out, drove about an hour just to get away, stopped in a Barnes & Noble for a drink. The B&N by my house has a Starbucks attached to it; they share an entrance but it’s a Starbucks. This one was actually a Barnes & Noble Café. I don’t know what it is – it might just be that I’m absolutely terrible at poker faces, or maybe just that I notice it more – but whenever I’m having a day like this the cashiers and random strangers around me all seem so much kinder than they do ordinarily.

I hadn’t tasted any Harney teas before, and the barista was incredibly sweet. She was a middle-aged Indian woman with a soft accent, and she kept recommending me teas and complimenting me on my choice of cookie. Made my night. Thanks, barista!


I like this one. I walked over to the condiment station and tasted it, and it was just the perfect strength, although I’d only left the bag in for about a minute – really, just long enough to pay. It’s minty and cool without much sweetness, and there’s a little hint of herbal flavors underneath it. All I added was about a half-teaspoon of honey. Perfect.

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Sweet and warm and soothing.

Oolongs are a very calming breed of tea.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank Hazelnut by Adagio Teas
323 tasting notes

Hotbrewed this 3tsp/10 oz then poured over ice with a bit of milk and sugar.

I’ve been on a hazelnut kick right now, and this is delicious! It tastes like hazelnut, with a bit of astringency that’s not too bad since I’ve added milk and sugar. It’s nutty and dark and oh! It’s excellent.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank ChunMee by The Tea Farm
323 tasting notes

Received this on (for real this time!) in a swap with Rachel – thanks!

Dry leaf note: small, twisted grey-green leaves. Smells like fields and hay with little notes of plum.

The liquor is a bright gold when steeped. Smells kind of like spinach and artichoke but with a sweetness to it. Very vegetal. Tastes smoky, vegetal. No real notes of sweetness. Like it, don’t love it.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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drank Tea Earl Grey Hot by ThinkGeek
323 tasting notes

I really like this EG. I haven’t found a lot of EGs that I like, but this one is balanced really nicely and the bergamot isn’t overwhelming. I’m sad that I can’t buy this by the ounce, but I just placed a massive sample order with Adagio (I had a lot of frequent cup points and ordered about 15 different samples for about $8, including shipping!). I’m hoping their Earl Grey Bravo is similar.

I still have have about half an ounce left of this, so no need to cry just yet!

Steeped 3tsp/16oz, poured over ice with a teaspoon of rock sugar and a splash of milk.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

This sounds like an EG I might actually want to try. Too bad they have to sell it in a sampler back. Hope the EG Bravo works out to be the same. And yay for Frequent Cup points. That’s how I got my IngenuiTEA for $3 – LOL.


*Sampler pack – d’oh!


The sampler pack isn’t actually that bad. I mean it’s a bit pricey for 4oz of tea, but the tins are cute and the teas are decent. I add milk and sugar to this, but I really like it.

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Michelle, 24. Freelance writer, Indiana.

A little bit lost in life.


Evansville, IN, United States

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