22 Tasting Notes

drank Ti Kuan Yin by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

Whew, back. Had computer issues that involve a brand new Dual Core Gateway. Hurray, no?

I should start by noting that Sinister owns a lovely Yixing clay pot seasoned for this tea alone. (refers to self in third person) Did you see what I did there?

Iron Goddess is a good epithet for any Oolong tea, but it’s perfect for this. It has sharp blood-coppery notes that are very lifting. It’s by no means too dark to taste fresh and light. That may sound a little like a contradiction…but sense is so hard to type in words.

If you’ve tried this, then you know. If you haven’t, buy some. This type of tea is too important for that “I don’t have an opinion so let me use yours” mentality. Besides, if you really think about it…what sort of tea aficionado would you be if you couldn’t say you loved or hated this tea?

It’s hard for me to correct myself. But I apparently lied/wrong when I said that Gunpowder was my favorite forever. “There’s always a bigger fish.” “The light at the end of the tunnel is brighter the closer you get.” “When you meet the Buddha on the road, you should kill the Buddha.” (think I’ve taken this as far as it’ll go.)

Either way, few people can say bad things about this tea. But to the few that do: I won’t argue with you, but I wish I could give you something as delicious as this tea. Alas, I cannot. A lot of Zen references floating around this post… =/ Suppose I’d best end on that note.

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec

Never underestimate a good Yixing pot, I say. I have four, two of which are in use. The big one was sadly rendered useless when the lid slipped out of my hands and shattered and the littlest one was just exactly big enough for one small cup. I used that one for a very smoky-like (worse than Lapsang Souchong, srsly!) yellow tea, though, so I don’t dare try to put anything else in it now. So they’re just standing around the flat now, looking pretty. My boyfriend has hinted at the fact that I have way too many teapots anyway. He might have a (small teensy tiny) point.


Nonsense, the more the merrier. We tea fans know that the enhancements a good seasoned pot will bring to the cup can’t be carried by any tea alone, no matter how great. Besides, what makes a more wonderful decoration than a nice artful teapot?

That’s horrible about your pot, though. I live in mortal dread of breaking mine and it’s the only one I have and took so long to season right.


And there’s just something fun about getting a new teapot and breaking it in, no matter what sort of pot it is. Although I will say that the cheap as dirt clear plastic godawful one that I bought for the benefit only of a flowering tea has been used only for that and does not get included in the regular rota. Not unless all the ten others break first.

Yeah, at first I was all WAAAAAAAHHH! about it, but if it had to happen, I’m glad it was the lid that broke. The lid sans pot wouldn’t have looked quite as nice on the shelf. :p

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I simply love Oolong and as this tea taught me, I love the smell of Jasmine. I’m sitting down, writing this review with a big hot cup of this.

The liquor is dark tangerine. The scent is pure hot humid Jasmine and Oolong, which together are wonderfully sweet. The taste itself is sweet as well, kind of like a liquid birthday cake…Or really like liquid Honeysuckle. I’ve NEVER needed sugar or honey drinking this. There are the usual copper notes of a well-treated Oolong, but ultimately, this tea is all about the Jasmine.


I might have to try this. I love Jasmine in tea.


I don’t have a Jasmine Oolong from Adagio, but I do have one from Teavana that scared me a little bit the last time I tried it. It’s been a while, so I think I might need to give it another go.

If you like jasmine tea, I’ve had a fair amount of it and Samovar’s Jasmine Pearl is a consistent favorite of mine.

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drank Green Ginger by Tazo
22 tasting notes

Had a dark yellow liquor. The smell was immediately pear and ginger. The actual tastes ranged from hints of pear to ginger and smacks of black pepper.

The tea is hot and spicy in a green tea fashion. All things considered, they could have made the pear flavor more obvious. Definitely wasn’t my favorite of the Tazo line-up. But a nice tea and not to be overlooked.

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drank Organic Apple Red by Tazo
22 tasting notes

Most people love apple and cinnamon flavors… I, apparently, do not. It had an earthy brown liquor and a wonderful aroma. It smelled like so many Yankee candles or scented potpourri. I appreciated the nice sour apple pucker in this tea, but it was so horribly smothered with cinnamon that it tasted more like a cider gone horribly wrong. There were splashes of watery caramel that just weren’t welcome and didn’t fit in.

The most infuriating thing is that I can’t understand where I went wrong. I can enjoy almost any tea, and I love Tazo teas…but I literally threw the cup of tea out.

EDIT: I think I know why I don’t like it! A revelation! It’s flavor reminded me of something, I now remember what it was. It reminds me of the Quaker Oats, cinnamon/apple-flavored oatmeal I had as a child. In respects to breakfast and oatmeal…I got sick of it eventually and have never really liked the flavor since… =/


I love the scent of apple cinnamon teas but usually can’t drink them! ek! I don’t blame you!


Oh, man. I used to live on that Quaker Oats stuff as a kid. The kind we got had this “flavor packet,” out of which you would squeeze a gel-like paste of whatever the flavor was supposed to be. They just don’t make “healthy” food like they used to. Ah, memories.


Quaker Oats, I tried it once, and only once. I hate oatmeal.
I love apple but I hate cinnamon. I can sometimes handle some cinnamon + apple desserts, but I can’t stand cinnamon tea. Well, I guess I don’t like “spices” in general for my tea, because I’m one of the few people who don’t like chai.
Anyway, you’re not the only person who doesn’t like apple cinnamon tea!

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drank Silver Needle by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

This tea is what I was thinking of when I was a child and making imaginary magic potions that could heal your lifeforce or imbue you with magic. The tea itself is a feel good item and can lift spirits. It allows you to shrug off discomfort, like it was some kind of winter coat and just feel good.

It has a cool blonde liquor and a mild smell like tanned leather or some sort of soft herb like tarragon. The taste has notes of butter and hay, like some impossible grain beverage. There are no truly bitter flavors present.

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drank Passion by Tazo
22 tasting notes

Have to admit…not one for flavored teas, really. But I love Passion fruit. This tea has a rich colorful bouquet of citrus and perfume. The liquor is a fascinating bruised purple. Tazo makes my favorite bagged teas and though I doubt I could stand to drink this regularly, it’s uplifting to drink this in the bath or while reading. It has a tart sour flavor that tastes…well…to be frank and a little synesthesic…like purple.


It tastes good in the iced tea lemonade drinks Starbucks mixes up but I’m not a fan of it by itself.


Never had it iced… And I never shopped at Starbucks for drinks. But the general consensus is, the colder a tea is, the less flavor is available. But seeing this blend almost has too much flavor, I bet it could be pretty refreshing and tasty…


I have to say you are spot on in your post for this tea beauty. Hibiscus isn’t a favorite addition in my book despite its pretty colour.

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drank Gunpowder by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

Never did a tea have a more apropos description and name than this tea. It looks like gunpowder, smells like it and has an ashen smokey flavor.

It’s my favorite tea. That is likely to be my final verdict, too. It’s just a favorite and a hard-nosed one. This isn’t necessarily a popular type of green tea. It’s not one that immediately shouts out to be liked. It doesn’t sing to the tastebuds… It’s not a profound medeley with hints of cocoa and notes of lemon… It’s simply a strong smokey green tea.

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drank Lotus by Tazo
22 tasting notes

I love Tazo teas and this is my favorite of their line-up. The tea liquor is a dandelion wine yellow. It’s aroma is light and reassuring for the person with a cold or just in need of comfort. It has such sweet notes of butter and lemon that still don’t assassinate the green tea taste. I didn’t find it to be especially floral, but the hints of floral were still present.

It’s far from a traditional concept of a green tea. So don’t expect that. You will be upset. It hasn’t the grassy or vegetable notes of some of the more tradition green teas.


I’ve always liked their green teas. Though it isn’t as good as most loose leaf, it is definitely up there in terms of bagged quality. The “Zen” Green Tea is also quite good from them as well.


I’ve tried their Zen too… And like you, for bagged tea, Tazo seems to have something on most others… The Zen was more traditional than the Lotus and the China Green Tips was even more so… I suppose I liked Lotus best because it was so different in just the right way. Zen was a close second. A nice flavorful green with plenty of lemongrass making it more…tart, than Lotus. But both great bagged green teas.

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drank Blood Orange by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

I ordered a 8 oz for my sister who is an avid fan of Orange flavors. The tea is a dark pink with a strong perfume of deep Orange. I admit that I liked the aroma of the tea better than the taste. If I could devise a way to turn the tea into a potpourri, I could make a fortune.

The tea itself is sour and lacking in what I would call complete character. Spiced with sugar, it’s perfect for kids. I liked it too, but it needed something to carry it to the finish line… A dark spice like Cinnamon would work, I think… Bottom line is, if you’re crazy about sugaring up your tea and love Orange, the tea is ideal.


Completely agree. I like how natural the sweetness of this tastes. Great for when you’re looking for something sweet but not overpoweringly so.

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drank Yunnan Noir by Adagio Teas
22 tasting notes

I still have this in my tea pantry. I was excited when this was introduced into Adagio’s line-up. My first impression, to say nothing of it’s unusual shape, was the tobacco-esque smell. It smelled like rich rollcake cavendish. Brewing it revealed a dark doughy taste and aroma. It was earthy in a pleasing and comfortable way and was yet another black tea that surprised me.

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I mean well, despite being a finicky tea snob. That said, I don’t usually traffic outside of Tazo, Adagio and the odd brand. I only drink tea when I can afford the best and I’m not too adventurous. I have an Oolong pallet, but, also, I have an opinion on everything. So sit down, boil the water and have a cup of tea with me.



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