30 Tasting Notes


To me this tea is almost as magical as it’s origin myth, blatantly copy-pasta’d from Adagio Teas..

Ti Kuan Yin means ‘Iron Goddess of Mercy’, and is a reference to a beloved bodhisattva in Buddhism. According to legend, Kuan Yin presented this tea in reward to a kind, poor farmer who lovingly maintained her old, dilapidated temple. ‘The key for your future,’ she said, ‘is just outside this temple.’ Outside, the farmer found a seedling tea bush. After much care, the bush grew rich and full, with thick green leaves. The lovely tea from those leaves was shared with and appreciated by all. Thus, the magical Ti Kuan Yin oolong came into being.

This tea came to me much like it’s origin, I a humble, poor, and learning connoisseur of tea travelled great distance for a new job, and through my hard work discovered an appreciation for teas. I queried the gracious store clerk at Chicago Coffee and Tea Exchange about which teas would be good to try, she bestowed upon me this great gift.

I hurriedly journeyed (a few blocks) back to my apartment with my prize. Brewing the first cup of this i knew not what to expect, upon tasting i was greeted with a roasted nutty flavor, initially making me think of how coffee tastes, and then followed by a sweet almost caramel aftertaste. I knew at once I must share this delicious brew with all I knew.

It’s now my staple tea, even as much as I try other things I delight in my few cups of this tea, generally starting the day with this and getting a good 3 steeps, I sometimes try a fourth, but, generally the leaves are exhausted and lack the ability to produce more flavor at that point.

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drank Orange by Love is Tea (LIT)
30 tasting notes

Another one of the samples that I received. I tried this tea, and it was a disaster! No, not the tea, me. I had every tea brewing accident imaginable while attempting to taste this tea. Not that it’s the fault of the tea that i’m clumsy, stuck my hand on the bottom of my ingenuitea and scalded the crap out of myself and spilled tea EVERYWHERE. Nor is it the tea’s fault that I didn’t bring a change of clothes into work this snowy Chicago day. Nor is it the tea’s fault that we have carpeted floors at work.

Needless to say, brewing this tea was a battle that I was somehow determined to lose. However, in the end, I ended up with a delightful tasting tea that had just the right tinge of citrusy orange flavor in it. A right reward for the trouble I caused myself. The scent is slightly better then the actual taste, I could sit here and smell this tea for hours, or at least until my coworkers glanced at me funny for huffing tea fumes.


i love reading your tasting notes….i mean, i’m sorry you had to go through that but the way you write is a lot of fun to read ^^

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drank I'm Nut Drunk by Love is Tea (LIT)
30 tasting notes

This tea’s name is is incredibly descriptive about it’s taste, nutty and sweet.

I’ve been reluctant to go through this sampler, but, only because I feel like i’ll be suffering a great loss once I’m out of this tea. It’s delicious. When sipping this tea the first thing I notice is a tinge of sweetness on my tongue, swallowing and breathing out there’s this nutty aroma. This tea, for lack of other ways to describe it, simply makes me happy.


my brother will be continuing to provide the teas for those who want more :)

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I don’t want to be too harsh, as I’m absolutely sure I’m not an expert in matcha preparation. It wasn’t a great cup of tea, but, I did feel something afterwards, not sure if it’s just placebo from reading about the effects or something real though.

The taste was kind of meh. It wasn’t bitter, it wasn’t sweet. It was slightly grassy. I was trying to make thick matcha, but, ended up with a watery soup from slightly too much water. I don’t have any traditional materials for preparing matcha, just threw it in a cup and stirred gently with a spoon, I know this is like matcha-sacrilege, but, it still didn’t come out horrible, just not as good as I’ve imagined/heard it to be.


I make matcha the same way, except I stir with a fork. I’m such a horrible person.

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drank Market Spice Tea by Market Spice
30 tasting notes

I actually liked this tea, but, it’s bad. Very bad. A very bad, naughty, tea. It has destroyed my ingenuitea. I probably should have known, or been wiser, or something. The only warning on the package says that it should be stored in a glass container. I probably shoul d have inferred something was up from this, but I did not. I steeped it for 5 minutes in a 16 oz Ingenuitea, it’s all cloudy and etched from the oils in the tea and I’ve had a heck of a time getting the cinnamon smell out of the pot. I’m not even really sure it’s safe to drink tea made out of my pot anymore with the damage this tea did.

That being said, a tasting note should be a note on the tea, not how destructive it. I find it to be pretty delicious, just disappointed that it’s possibly cost me a teapot.

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drank Gynostemma by Love is Tea (LIT)
30 tasting notes

This tea is very nice, I wasn’t sure what to expect because I’d never heard of gynostemma before. It also didn’t come with directions, there’s lots of gynostemma teas and they very quite a bit in how long they should be steeped, how much you should use, etc. For this particular tea, I used about a teaspoon for 8 oz of water. My first time making it, I let it go for 2=3 minutes, thinking herbal tea takes forever, but, while I was steeping it I came across some sites that said they steep their gynostemma for less than a minute! One page said 20 seconds. I quickly poured that into a cup, and the taste wasn’t unpleasant, but, it wasn’t that great either. So, honestly not sure whether i didn’t let it brew long enough, or let it brew too long… I figured my next cup I can always try the real quick steep and if it’s not good, just steep the next one longer.

The second time making it, I steeped it probably about 35 seconds. The first steep of this second batch was fairly light in color, but, it had a very pleasant and sweet taste. The second steep released a lot more color into the water, but, I suck at describing color, just it was a lot more obvious it was ‘tea’ in the second steeping. The taste was more noticeable. It’s a really delicious tea and this continued onto my 4th and 5th cups. Each cup has a slightly (but not sugary) sweet taste to it. Given how quick it is to steep as well, it’s a great tasting convenient cup of tea that supposedly gives lots of health benefits. It’s definitely ranking up there in my favorites.


Nick, thanks for the detailed feedback and for making the entry! I am super multi tasking right now hahaha. Have added the steep instructions and some info copy-pasted ^^’ Glad you like it!

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drank Jasmine Pearls by Love is Tea (LIT)
30 tasting notes

Let me start off this note with a teensy bit of background. I bought some cheap jasmine tea and had even commented to a friend that I shared that tea with that jasmine tea could be a bit iffy, that there were horror stories about the chemically taste and such online. Drinking that tea, I was unsure of what quality of tea I got, I didn’t know what the chemical taste tasted like, and I wasn’t sure if jasmine tea was supposed to taste like drinking a bottle of perfume. I just thought maybe I didn’t like jasmine tea.

I had also asked yssah – Love is Tea (LIT) to try some of the Jasmine Pearls she had available…

I had no idea. I just didn’t.

This tea is exquisite compared to the cheaper jasmine tea that I’d purchased. I now have a much better idea of what good jasmine tea is supposed to taste like. There’s a delicate fragrance of jasmine without any of the perfume taste in my mouth. It’s a beautiful aroma and the pearls unfurling during the 2nd and 3rd steeping are fun to watch.

The first steep had a very light flavor and aroma. The tint of the liquor was barely noticable. The second steep was a much more noticeable change in the color of the liquor a very light translucent champagne. There was much more taste due to leaves opening up more and it was slightly sweet. Unfortunately my pallate isn’t experienced enough to pull out and describe exactly what I was tasting in the tea, but, it was yum.


you write really cool tasting notes, Nick! and you do this tea more justice than i :D

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A very nice but very subtle flavor, please keep in mind that my novice skills in tea brewing may be to the detriment of some very great teas. However, with that being said, the tea leaves smell absolutely gorgeous and hint at the delicious flavor to come. While the flavoring was very subtle in the tea I brewed, the taste left on my tongue after drinking was delightful.

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drank Earl Grey (loose leaf) by Twinings
30 tasting notes

Still being a bit of a neophyte in the tea tasting arena, I don’t know what a lot of the qualities of particular teas are supposed to be. However, that being said, I very much like this tea. It’s got a very nice smell to it and it tastes great.

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drank Hibiscus Apple by Argo Tea
30 tasting notes

My first attempt at this was an utter and dismal failure, I was almost ready to agree with everyone else, the tea was overpowering, too strong, and just didn’t taste very good with instructions on the container.

I looked up some sites on brewing loose leaf tea and decided to try it a little different. First instead of using a full teaspoon, I put just enough to cover half the bottom of my little styrofoam cups. I know that’s not an exact measurement, but, because this tea has lots of chunks of apple and such, you could probably translate it to a light teaspoon, just be a little less eager to get a huge amount. Second, instead of boiling water, I had hot water and let it cool for just a minute or two and then steeped for about six minutes. I shall do more science in the future so that I can get exact temperatures and such, but, doing it this way produces a very delicious cup of tea and is not near as overpowering as my first taste.

150 °F / 65 °C 6 min, 0 sec

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I’m 30 and living in Chicago, Illinois.

I’m new to tea and just now discovering my likes and dislikes.


Chicago, Illinois

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