412 Tasting Notes

drank Thai Tea Blend by Teavana
412 tasting notes

Giving up on herbal throat teas for the time being and spoiling myself with this – it is deliciously desserty with a bit of honey and milk. Does this mean I’ll actually have to patronize Teavana someday? :( Thanks nonetheless to Meghann M!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Throat Comfort by Yogi Tea
412 tasting notes

Ugh. I’m drinking this because I have a sore throat tonight, and it’s the only throat tea in my cupboard, apparently. I don’t think I realized, when I bought a full box, that it tastes much more licorice-y than Traditional Medicinals :( almost undrinkably so, for me. Almost, but not quite, when my throat hurts.

It’s effective, and sweet, so if you don’t mind fennel or anise it’s a great choice. I, on the other hand, might need to give the rest of the box away so I have an excuse to buy TM’s instead…

Boiling 8 min or more

LeafSpa’s Organic Honey Vanilla White works and tastes AMAZING… even when I’m not OCD w/ my steeping parameters. For added effect and flavor add a pinch of dried ginger root to each cup. I drank 80oz of it today.


That’s really good to know!

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Add me to the list of those who don’t like coconut-flavored things, but liked this tea anyway. It’s a buttery, sweet, fresh coconut that melds with the green/oolong flavor without overpowering. I am definitely tempted to buy some of this this, though $7.25/oz is more than I’d usually pay… we’ll see.

ETA: I’m having the 4th steep of this with a bowl of popcorn, with butter and coconut oil, and that’s bringing out the green/flowery bits in the tea. Don’t let the fact that it’s flavored make you think this is a cheap base – there’s a nice pouchong under there.

I used about half of my 2.7g sample, to make 4oz; I’ve steeped twice so far with good results. ETA: After six steeps, I think this is done. Still, a really good value; that was 21oz of tea from 1.4g of tea leaves!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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Finally finishing up my sample of this – it’s surprisingly good for having spent several months in a clear plastic bag. Smooth, sweet, lightly grape-y. I can definitely taste the white tea base, which is impressive considering how little white tea I drink. I… might just have to buy more of this. Ooh, and apparently it’s on sale? $4/.8oz or $5.60/1.6oz This gets more and more tempting…

1.4g, 4oz water, 2 steeps so far

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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drank Keemun Concerto by Adagio Teas
412 tasting notes

I brewed this a little on the strong side today, using up the last of my sampler tin – about 2.5g for 8oz, and I found it a bit harsh to drink plain. (I guess that could be about hte dust in the botton of the tin too). It’s fine with milk though. It actually tastes mild and well-rounded now, more sweet than smoky. This is good, because I find the smokiness of Keemun Encore somewhat overpowering.

I think this’ll go on the shopping list for a full tin. It’s very drinkable, and has a nice sequence of flavors rolling over the tongue, but it’s relatively inexpensive so I don’t have to worry about savoring every cup (I’m looking at you Jackee).

2.5g leaf, 8oz water, 3 minutes near boiling

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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drank Pu-erh Chai by Golden Moon Tea
412 tasting notes

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I prepared this as Den’s Tea’s oh-so-detailed chart instructs: 2g tea, 4oz boiling water, 30/15 second steeps. First impression: reminds me of (roasted) yerba maté or kukicha. It’s a very mild flavor, not at all bitter, but also not very tea-like to my palate. Slightly sweet, but also somewhat… dusty, in flavor? Oddly dry. The second steep is very similar.

This is interesting, but not likely to become a staple of mine any time soon. Maybe it would be a good low-caffeine option if you’re a purist who doesn’t drink flavored teas or tisanes, but I can’t really imagine the mood where I’d pick this over everything else in my cupboard.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Earl Grey Special by TeaFrog
412 tasting notes

Finishing the last of my Teafrog samples now that my new order is here. This is good, but I’m finding that I don’t really crave an extra lemony Earl Grey very often. The lemongrass in particular is… interesting, but not quite to my taste; it reminds me too much of herbal blends, which is not what I want out of an EG. :/ So, interesting to try, but not likely to be a staple for me.

$6/100g, ~15¢ per cup

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 45 sec

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drank Orchid Temple by Golden Moon Tea
412 tasting notes

The description here seems quite accurate to me: green and floral. Also a little buttery, at least in the aroma. The color is a very pale green, almost like a white tea. This reminds me of Samovar’s Four Seasons, but maybe just because that’s the most recent green oolong I’ve had; this is lighter in flavor, and sweeter. It doesn’t quite have the rich buttery mouthfeel of FS though. (Note: they are both Tie Guan Yin/Iron Goddess varieties)

This was a very generously sized sample – at least 4 grams of tightly rolled leaves, total. I’ve steeped it twice so far, and may adjust the rating depending on how many it yields. I don’t quite have a system for how much QPR affects my ratings, but it is a factor i.e. if this yields a comparable number of steeps as Four Seasons, it will get a slightly higher rating because I like them similar amounts and this costs half as much. I find it relevant, because if a tea feels like a ripoff, I genuinely enjoy it less.

ETA: I’ve had six steeps of this now, and it’s getting milder, but no faster than the Four Seasons did.

2.3g leaf, 3.5 oz water, 45 second steeps near boiling

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 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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