154 Tasting Notes


I tried a sample cup at the San Francisco International Tea Festival and had to buy some on the spot. I don’t collect a lot of black teas, mostly green. My favorite is houjicha. But this black tea is great.

It took me a few tries to get the amount of leaf just right. I may need to buy a tea scale. Now it tastes just like the sample they served. I get a smooth black tea flavor with strong honey notes and scents. It doesn’t taste bitter at all, but rich and full of light, whatever that means.

Flavors: Honey, Tea

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

Todd, if you’re ever back in the city, this is available bulk at Rainbow Grocery!


Thanks, good to know!

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I had this at Hidden Peak Teahouse.

First Steep: The smell reminded me a little of houjicha. It was very vegetal and tasted of artichokes. very smooth.

Second Steep: The oolong really opened up and filled the steeping cup. There was a strong smell of artichoke. There was still vegetal/artichoke flavor, with a slight hint of floral flavor and roasted toastiness. The flavors came together in a nice balance.

Third Steep: There was a lighter flavor like black tea mixed with green tea, with a vegetal note at the end.

Fourth Steep: Lighter still. It was more thirst quenching this time, with a slight citrus note.

Fifth through Seventh Steeps: Continued to get lighter in flavor, less complex.

Flavors: Artichoke, Citrus, Floral, Roasted, Tea, Toasty, Vegetal

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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drank Masala Chai by Adagio Teas
154 tasting notes

I did a sipdown of this 12g bag that came with my Adagio ingenuiTEA Bottom-Dispensing Teapot. I think I got four servings out of it. The packaging says to steep for 7-10 minutes! So I did 7 minutes for the first steep and 8 for the second.

First steep is very cardamom-heavy, while it’s more balanced with a second steep. I hot-steeped using my IngenuiTEA and then added a little almond milk for flavor and to get it down to my usual drinking temperature. I’m a little wimpy with drinks that are too hot for me.

It’s odd for me with a chai to prefer the second steep, but there you go. It’s unbalanced, but it was free, and drinkable. I tried it without almond milk too (brewed it yesterday and forgot I was out of milk), but prefer it with. This last time I used Almond Breeze “Hint of Honey,” but I can’t taste the hint through all the spices.

Flavors: Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

Wow, that’s a long recommended steep! Unless the intention is to prepare it for latte, I don’t normally steep black teas so long myself.

One of the things I’ve noticed from doing a chai-heavy month this month is a lot of cardamom-heavy blends, myself! What is the deal with all the cardamom? I definitely have found that for the cardamom-heavy blends, I prefer them with milk, too. It definitely cuts it back a bit. I definitely like the more balanced chais though, where you can savor more of the spices and I can enjoy plain, but are still good with milk if I feel in a latte mood.

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What is a treacle sponge? It’s apparently a pudding, but when I first opened the tin, it smelled like a delicious cookie. I wonder if there’s a good way to make sugar cookies and flavor them with this tea.

Anyway, it tastes like delicious cookies, and I also like it with a little vanilla almond milk. I drank it hot. I wish it were part of Bluebird’s permanent collection, but at least I bought a nice 0.15 kg tin of it. My friend recommended it to me, and thanks for that!

Flavors: Cookie, Ginger

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Mastress Alita

I’m still waiting for my Bluebird order, but am also glad for the opportunity to pick up more of this! Doesn’t look like it’s going to win the election, but it had my vote!

When I sampled it a while ago, I remember it having a very buttery mouthfeel, and a caramel flavor. I never had a chance to try it as a latte off my sample before, so once I have a chance to try it again I definitely want to try it that way, as well.

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I have enjoyed various teas most of my life, but have recently started exploring higher-end teas. Still, plain houjicha (loose-leaf or bagged) makes me feel like I’m in Japan.


Boulder Creek CA

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