1530 Tasting Notes

drank Decaf Paris by Harney & Sons
1530 tasting notes

I need more evening teas! I haven’t been impressed with most of the Harney teas I have tried, so I’m surprised to find I like this one! It has a good EG/bergy flavor that is smooth with something fruity in the finish. A berry of some sort. I like this, I’d buy it again to have more decaf options, but it’s hard to type much right now with a playful feisty bird insisting that hands are for playing with birds, not typing on the computer.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec
gmathis

I have a cat with the same opinion. (Hands are playing with cats. But then again, he might also think that his hands are playing with birds…)

Evol Ving Ness

The image of this moment made me smile.

Dustin

Pets are like eternal two year olds with demands for attention! LOL! She’s turned out to be a really sweet bird as her personality has developed this past year.

Evol Ving Ness

Nice when that happens.

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drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
1530 tasting notes

This mixture of flavors in this tea is striking me as such an odd mix. Almond, chocolate, cinnamon… I should love it. The cinnamon is at the front of the sip where it dominates and lets a little of the chocolate peek out near the end. The chocolate dominates the finish and the almond is in there somewhere, but it’s kind of in and out. The chocolate tastes like the smell of scratch and sniff stickers. Not really chocolate, but what artificial recreations come up with to represent the flavor. It’s light, airy and perfume like. It’s unpleasant and it bothers my throat a little after the sip. There is a scratchiness that creeps in and it’s really weird. This is going in the get rid of bin. I’m not into it.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

I don’t care for this one, either. Sorry you had to bin it.

Evol Ving Ness

I wonder if this is the same chocolate used in Florence?

Dustin

I don’t know. I’ll have to see if I got a sample of that one with my order and compare.

Lexie Aleah

I feel the same about this one. Not a fan of their chocolate flavoring it would seem after trying Soho as well.

gmathis

I had one bag of this to try; had it all steeped, then a bug from an office plant decided to go swimming in it. Sounds like I didn’t miss much.

Dustin

I recall not liking Soho much either.
That bug might have done you a favor! LOL!

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I recall liking Sun Cloud and Mist years ago and was excited to acquaint myself with it’s reincarnation. As I was preparing it I was noticing a similarity to Butiki’s Lemon French Macaron which was a favorite of mine. It tastes very similar, but there are a few differences. The lemon in this is sharper and more tangy. Like a fresh squeeze of lemon compared to a more baked flavor. LFM has almond in it and I don’t think this one does. Both have hints of lemongrass and this one has flickers of something that I can only think to describe as ashy, which sounds unflattering in a way I don’t mean. Maybe it’s the hay notes? Either way I’ve found myself quickly at the bottom of this cup and thinking of a resteep to prolong the enjoyment. This is the closest thing I’ve found to LFM and I’m really happy to have it in my cupboard for the brief time it will last before being consumed.

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank French Cookie by Friday Afternoon
1530 tasting notes

I was really hoping to find the next Teavana’s Almond Biscotti or Butiki’s Almond Indulgence or ATR’s Brioche in this cup and it’s just not happening. It smells hopeful when the tea is dry, but it’s not even close to the others when steeped. It has a nice malty flavor and I totally get the French cookie part. It’s sort of a buttery malt with a little almond mixed in at the end of the sip, but it’s bland. It’s okay if I’m not comparing it to long lost favorites, but it’s just okay. It doesn’t have anything that grabs me and makes me want more. I’ve tried steeping a few cups and keep coming to the same conclusion. To the reject pile it goes while my search for a new favorite almond black continues.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Cameron B.

I love S&V’s Almond Sugar Cookie. :3

Martin Bednář

Hmm. I thought that almond tea won’t be hard to find. But I was wrong. This is only one I have found: https://tipsontea.com/products/almond-thai-tea

Shae

It looks like Adagio has an almond black tea, but I couldn’t say if it’s any good or not.

Dustin

I got a bag of S&V’s Almond Sugar Cookie years ago and recall it not being as amazing as the other three favorite almond teas. I might have to give it another go anyways.
I’ve never heard of that brand, Martin! There are a ton of almond teas out there, but there is a certain flavor profile that I’m looking for. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s one of those things that I’ll know it when I taste it.
Adagio has a ton of almond fandom blends, so much so that I don’t know which might possibly be a match. Maybe I can hunt down reviews here and narrow it down.

Martin Bednář

I believe they are a sister company to Basilur. This one seems to be chai-like with some almond flavour. I never had it, so I can’t tell. But it seems they are quite cheap, so you can give them a try :)

Mastress Alita

“Brioche” was a catalog blend from Wallenhaupt (original name: Candied Almond) that is purchased wholesale by other, smaller teasellers. I’ve found it (exact ingredient match) under the name “Almond Biscotti” by The Tea Smith, as well as others. Search “Black Tea, almonds, cinnamon, safflower, flavoring” to find different tea shops offering it under varied names/sizes/price points.

Dustin

You are the best tea sleuth ever! I just ordered it from Tea Smith since the price seemed good. HUGE thank you!

Evol Ving Ness

Dustin, we look forward to your reviews. Thank you, Mastress Alita.

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drank Rainbow Lemonade by DAVIDsTEA
1530 tasting notes

I’m not sure how this ended up in my cupboard. Maybe it was on sale and I thought the tiny roommates would like it? Probably. Not sure what to make of it. It does have a rainbow of fruit taste to it. I can pick out the lemon, but it also tastes like something red. Raspberry? Cherry? The hib isn’t too horrible, but there is something alkaline in the sip that is distracting and pops up at various points. It’s almost fruit punchy. I can imagine this being really good cold steeped and over ice. It’s more distracting while hot and I’m hoping that fades as it cools, but I have work to get back to at the moment.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
AJRimmer

They did a promotion in 2021 at one point where they threw in a free bag of this tea with orders, so that may have been it!

Dustin

Ah… maybe!

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drank Amateur by Mariage Frères
1530 tasting notes

I murdered my first cup of this. Forgot I was steeping it for a while and it went super bitter. Dumped it and started fresh and got a very interesting cup. It’s predominantly smoky with light jasmine notes underneath peeking out mostly in the finish. There is something malty in there, which is nice and a little bit of tannins. It’s alright and I hope to get better cups out of it in the future.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
gmathis

I’m glad I’m not the only tea serial killer out there! ;)

Dustin

I need to put my tea timer in my pocket instead of walking away from it thinking my internal timer will do!

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drank Smoky Earl Grey by Mariage Frères
1530 tasting notes

Mariage Freres says to steep this for 5 minutes! Seemed a little excessive, but I did it anyways and I think I’d like to dial back the time on the next cup. This is very smoky. I like smoky, but I was expecting something more subtle that allowed the bergamot flavor to come through. It was all smoke until a third or half the way through the cup, then the berg started showing a little. There is a nice malty base that I could taste through the smoke. This cup wasn’t terrible, but I feel like I could get a much better cup by adjusting the steeping parameters.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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drank Purple Rain by Justea
1530 tasting notes

I got this tea for Xmas in a tin set that stacks three of their teas on each other. I didn’t realize this one had so much hibiscus in it and that I already have one of the teas or I wouldn’t have put it on my wishlist.
This steeps up tart, but not as obnoxious as most hib. I think the lemongrass mellows it out a bit and rounds out the tartness. There is only a hint of alkaline flatness from the hib. I’m actually enjoying this tea, which is weird for me and such a hib heavy mix. I can drink it as long as I keep pretending it’s a lemon tea.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Locombia Colombia by Mariage Frères
1530 tasting notes

Advent Day 5

Last day/tea to catch up on. I keep reading the description and try to taste the intended pomegranate and pineapple, but I mostly get plum. It’s surprisingly nice and flavorful after all the other plain teas in the advent. It’s gotten a little tangy in the finish in that oversteeped green sort of way now that it has cooled, something I didn’t notice while it was hot. It’s very smooth on the sip with the fruit flavor though. I can smell pineapple now that it cooled and I almost think I can taste it before my brain flips back to plum. It’s a nice tea, not something I’d seek out again though.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Tokyo in Love by Mariage Frères
1530 tasting notes

Advent Day 12
I missed two days in this advent and am catching up now. Of course one of the missed days was a blue tea! I finally took MF’s advice and steeped this for a full 5 minutes. This tastes like perfumy cherry blossoms. Very delicate, light and airy. There is a slight sweet feeling to it that is almost taste with a light fruitiness behind it. At the end of the finish there is a flash of savory. Or maybe that’s my breakfast sausage lingering? Who knows! I like this one better than most of the other blue teas, but I’m really over the entire blue tea with ethereal flavors thing.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 5 min, 0 sec
CrowKettle

I don’t think there’s much tea leaf in the tea bag, and it’s weirdly light (ethereal!) even for an oolong, so I started doing this near the end too!

Dustin

I think the peaflowers take up a bit of space in the bags. The Milky Blue Absolu leaves unfurled significantly when released from the bag, but it didn’t have a bunch of other ingredients like the peaflowers in it.

CrowKettle

Yeah, the Milky Blue was alright! Also, another reason to be resentful of the peaflowers..

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Profile

Bio

My name is Dustin and I like tea.

I’m an added flavor kind of tea fan, but have had a growing appreciation for plain. I want my tea to remind me of cookies and cakes with coconut and almond slices with a hint of chocolate drizzled on top. I want dancing ponies and flying monkeys shooting off fireworks! And no hibiscus. Hibiscus is the devil.

Location

BA, CA, US

Website

https://www.instagram.com/dre...

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