412 Tasting Notes

drank Ooooh Darjeeling by Adagio Teas
412 tasting notes

More leaf has definitely improved this one. It tastes like a spicy, fruity roasted oolong now – Darjeeling flavor, but smoother. 2nd steep is visibly lighter already, but I’ll see how long it lasts anyway.

1.8g leaf (about 2 tsps), 3.5oz water

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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drank Duchess Grey Tea by Trader Joe's
412 tasting notes

I oversteeped this a bit (forgot to set a timer), but a little dash of sugar saves it very easily. I love how lemony this is, and how wonderful with milk.

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Maiden's Ecstasy by Samovar
412 tasting notes

In line with the pairing suggestions, I’m drinking this with bread and butter :) I’ve been off pu-erhs for awhile, so unfortunately I’m getting more of the barnyard taste (that I acclimate to when drinking pu-erh frequently). It’s also not comparing well to some of the plain blacks I’ve had lately, just for strength of flavor. But, it is exactly what I wanted after my bike ride – something smooth, sweet, and mild, but also energizing (and for a bonus, re-steepable and forgiving) – so points for that.

We’ll see if it grows on me after a couple of cups.

1 tsp leaf, 4oz water, dumped first rinse with boiling water

Boiling 1 min, 30 sec

Not sure I’d personally give it bonus points for being resteepable. Most pu erhs should give you 12ish so it would be a pretty crappy pu erh (lol! didn’t think of that pun when I typed it) if you couldn’t resteep it.


Hmm yes pu-erh with bread and butter sounds like a good combination. I’ll try it tomorrow. I don’t find my pu-erh very smooth at all though, possibly it’s not a very good one.
It’s all about having a forgiving tea when you’re tired. Nothing worse than sitting down and forgetting the tea for 5 mins only to find it tasting horrible when you go to rescue it


I agree Grinnyguy, but I like my pu erh w/in a very specific set of parameters so this isn’t int for me:)


I am liking this better after a few cups; I think I’m on my fifth steep now? Cofftea, I kind of bought this particular one for the yixing pot it came with :P I’m sure it’s not stellar (I have had a little sheng pu-erh that definitely impressed me more), but it’s nice to have around.

Grinnyguy, forgiving was definitely the order of the day ;)

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My water temp must have been too cool this time, or something, because this is looking and tasting a lot more like white tea than the bright buttery green I remember. Still nice flavors, but rather mild :( will try to fix on the second steep.

ETA: 2nd steep, checked the water temp this time: 175˚F. That’s a little cool, but should have been fine. I’m wondering now if this is just getting old – it’s been… about a year? since I bought it. Ah well, I’ll just have to drink more soon :)

1.1g tea, 3.5oz water

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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drank 1001 Nights by TeaFrog
412 tasting notes

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Thanks to Lisbet for this one!

I’m actually liking this more than I expected, after being unimpressed with Adagio’s Decaf Vanilla. It’s mild for an Earl Grey (though that makes sense, with two parts creamy things to one part EG), but the blend comes together well. If you’ve seen my review of Adagio’s Cream, you’ll know I actually think it tastes more like maple than dairy, but that works ok here. I’d agree with Lisbet that this certainly doesn’t taste natural, and the decaffeination kinda destroys the best of the “tea” flavor, but… neither of those things surprised me, so I like it well enough for what it is ;) With 1/3 the caffeine of a normal cup (the Cream part isn’t Decaf), this is something I can have in the evening – a sweet and creamy bedtime Earl Grey.

Rating relative to other decaf and herbal teas only

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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Some notes on ratings:

I’d have separate rating scales for tea types if that were possible (probably Black, Flavored Black, Darjeeling/Dark Oolong, White/Green/Light Oolong, and Herbal) because the flavors and quality markers are just too different. A flavored black rated 100 isn’t better than every oolong I’ve ever drunk, just delicious for a flavored black.

Ratings are a combination of my enjoyment and the perceived quality – I do often demote teas a few points for artificial flavorings, small quantity of steeps supported, or weakness of flavor (requiring extra leaf).

I pay less attention to the number than the order of my ratings; I don’t necessarily keep a stock of everything rated 80+, but if two breakfast blends are rated 82 and 84 I consistently enjoy the 84 more.

And in case it’s not obvious? I am not an expert. I don’t even know what I like until I taste it sometimes, but I’m ok with that :) I like learning to like new teas, as well as enjoying the comfort of familiar ones.


Boston, MA



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