82 Tasting Notes


The last thing I should be doing this late at night is drinking black tea, but I’ve been saving this to try when I had a chance to relax and enjoy it, and this is the first bit of time I’ve had.

It’s a striking color, first off — it came out a dark, rich red. I usually don’t care about the color of my tea, but it’s gorgeous. It smells great, too.

There’s a lot of maltyness, which is exactly what I was hoping for. But it doesn’t stop there — there is a nice astringency to this tea, but it has a little bit of a sweetness to it, too. It ends up nice and complex and really delicious.

This is really everything I want in tea. If it wasn’t this late, I’d brew up another pot, but I guess it’s time to switch to something herbal if I want to sleep tonight. (Plus it would probably be better at breakfast!)

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Against my better judgement, I snagged a cup of this instead of my usual mocha at Starbucks on the way up to visit my family. Earl Grey is a tea I can take or leave, and I’ve been generally unimpressed with Tazo’s offerings, but I had a weird craving for it today, so I got it.

It wasn’t awful. It wasn’t great — the citrus was completely absent from my cup — and it didn’t help that I burned my tongue with the first sip. And it got a bit cloying toward the end. But even so, it was better than I expected, with a slightly floral flavor. And it did the job, getting me caffeinated. (I work nights, so any day with the family is an early one for me!)

I’ve had much better teas, but I’ve had worse, too, so I will give this one a pass.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec

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It smells nice and smoky. The problem is, the smokiness barely comes through in the flavor. It’s there, but it’s not very strong. In fact, there’s a tiny bit of a sweet aftertaste, which is actually pretty nice, if surprising — but I wanted smoky, and after Harney & Sons’ Russian Country, this one’s kind of disappointing.

There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s just not what I expected. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

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The more I drink this blend, the more I like it. And I really liked it a lot with the first sip, so that’s saying something.

It’s a pretty delish tea with some nice complexity to it: a good, smooth flavor but overlaid with a bit of maltiness. None of the flavors in the cup overwhelm the others; they all work together to make a pretty wonderful cup of tea. I can see this becoming a regular in my cupboard, though I have the feeling it will never stay there very long!

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The tea snobbery session started at Peet’s, where my bestie and I each picked a tea, chose a third to split, and then decided to try this in the store, since we got a free cup with our purchase.

Yum! The first thing I noticed was that if you blow on the steam, it sticks to the surface of the tea, because I’m a child. I was a little afraid the tea would be sticky, but nope. It was pretty delicious and not at all sticky. It smells great, very berryish.

The currant gives it a nice, jammy flavor. The tea is strong enough to taste, but doesn’t horn in on the currant’s show at all, just gives it a nice base to work off of. It’s very sweet, as promised — no extra sweetener is needed — but it did taste a tiiiiny bit artificial toward the end of the cup, just the last sip or two. Not the greatest end.

Even so, it was pretty good and I was kind of wishing we’d gotten some of that, too, as we left. (And we ended up splitting all three teas because we decided we wanted to try them all.)

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 15 sec

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Another tea from the snobbery session. (I’m going to call them that, I just love how it sounds.)

This tea smells so much like peaches. And then you make it and drink it and it tastes exactly like it smells and it’s so good! The peach is very strong and delicious, but just short of overwhelming — I think it would be just as good or maybe even better as an iced tea. There is chamomile evident, and also something floral — rose, maybe? And the tea adds a bit of flavor also. All of that just tempers the peachy awesomeness.

And I’m so excited because the BFF gave me a bit of this when she bought it, and I still have some left. And leftover scones. I know what I’m doing for breakfast.

(Unfortunately, I’m not sure how long she brewed it — I know it tasted better than when I’ve made it at home, but my water’s a lot harder and also grosser, so I’m not sure how much was just due to water quality.)

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Visiting my BFF, and we’re having a tea snobbery session. After dividing up the night’s purchases, she offered me a cup of this.

I’m not a huge fan of vanilla, but it didn’t seem super strong so I said I was game. It’s juuuuust on the good side of bearable (for me); enough to sweeten the cup but not quite enough to make it awful.

The Earl Grey comes through very nicely. Overall, this is a pretty good cup! I’m not sure I’d want it every day, but occasionally as a nice complement to dessert (we’re making scones), it’s a great pick.

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Hehee – a tea snobbery session! :) And you’re making scones! That sounds like a fun night.


Oh, it was so much fun! And the scones turned out to be delicious. :D We’re planning another one already.

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drank Refresh by Pukka
82 tasting notes

This? This tastes like hot liquid soap.

It smells nice, though, so at least I can empty the bags for potpourri or something.

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I’m not sure if my taste buds are broken, or if I just got a different batch than the hated one, but I actually rather enjoy this tea.

It does smell amazingly like apple cider, but doesn’t really taste anything like it, so I can’t help but feel a little disappointment on first sip. And the tea part of this mixture is just not present; a stronger tea would make this a lot tastier.

That said, the spices are there and quite pleasant, it has a nice hint of apple despite the lack of cideryness (it’s a word now), the licorice adds a bit of flavor, and it’s smooth and pretty tasty. Plus it just smells fantastic. It’s not among the best teas I’ve had, but I really like it anyway, if that makes any sense.

I did notice that, in a very bizarre twist, it actually becomes less pleasant and more papery tasting the longer it steeps, so maybe that’s part of the problem? Steeping longer seems to leech out the spices and especially the apple, leaving behind only the mediocre tea and a hint of licorice.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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I got a sample of this a few years ago in my Christmas stocking and really disliked it. However, that was when I was first branching out beyond Constant Comment, and learning about things like steeping times. Since I was so pleasantly surprised by the RoT’s ginger peach tea, I figured I’d give this a shot; I like cinnamon (a lot), I like plums, and it sounded like a yummy, yummy tea.

Turns out, I should have gone with my first impression. I didn’t loathe it as much as I did back then (I vaguely remember actual nausea), but it was a really unimpressive cup of tea.

Even with two bags and steeped for a full five minutes, it was very bland and tasteless. I couldn’t find much plum at all. The cinnamon tasted … well, my mom had these cinnamon bark sticks in a tiny dish for decoration when I was a kid, and one day, when I was seven or eight and the cinnamon sticks were about the same age, I tasted one out of curiousity. It tasted like vaguely cinnamony paper, and old and stale to boot. That’s how the cinnamon in this tea came across to me. And the tea itself was pretty meh.

I’d blame it on the bags being old or something, but since this is pretty much exactly how I remember it tasting, I think maybe it’s just not for me. I’m glad I tried something else first, or I probably would have never touched another RoT tea again.

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I love tea! I still don’t know very much about it, though; I know what I like and what I don’t, and that’s about it.

Aside from tea (and food), I enjoy crafty stuff, writing, reading and playing with my cats.

About my ratings: I need to go through and redo them, because really I just sort of use that slider as a ranking system and the numbers for a lot of the teas I’ve done notes for don’t accurately reflect how I actually feel about them. :/



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