61 Tasting Notes


Another Steepologie Advent of Tea – this one was tucked in on Day 4 with the Peppermint Bark, which is good because today’s tea is a Rooibus, and yesterday’s was an herbal, and I am in dire need of caffeine right now.

I like jasmine tea – jasmine oolongs are one of my favorites for when I have Chinese food. (I learned to love them while eating out, when you couldn’t get milk for your tea, and I continue to drink them without milk.)

This one, being a black tea with added jasmine, I adulterated with a bit of milk, and it came out just lovely. The jasmine flavor is quite strong, but there’s an odd aftertaste that I can’t place – possibly the milk? I’ll have to try resteeping the leaves and drinking it straight.

I won’t be seeking this one out since I have to mail-order my tea from Steepologie, but I would quite happily drink it again. Definitely on the list of “yup, this one is worth it.” And if I’m ever in the store and am looking to just get a cuppa, I’d be happy to have this one.

Flavors: Jasmine

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Day 4 of the Steepologie Avent of Tea Calendar. (I actually got two samplers on Day 4, and didn’t drink either of them on the day of, because my refill box from Adagio arrived and I was absolutely going to drink some of my Chestnut, having had only an empty tin of that for almost a month.) Yes, this smells very, very much like peppermint bark. The aftertaste is also like peppermint bark – peppermint and chocolate.

During the drinking…there’s less flavor. I’m not sure if I didn’t steep it long enough or hot enough, or just didn’t have enough in the sampler (I brewed 24 ounces of water with it, so it might be a trifle anemic) but the flavor of the tea while it’s in my mouth is quite mild. The peppermint aroma almost overwhelms the taste of it.

If I wanted to drink a candy cane, this is the tea I would go for. I don’t, so I won’t be buying this one. But I’ll finish my mug, so that’s fine. If I were going to buy this tea, I would want to put more black tea in, to perhaps dilute the peppermint a bit and give it a bit more body – but I am the sort of person who likes her tea to be thick enough that people mistake it for coffee some days.

Flavors: Chocolate, Peppermint

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drank Raspberry Green by Adagio Teas
61 tasting notes

Got this as part of a sampler in my annual tea swap. This is the wrong season for me to be drinking this tea. It’s a nice light green with a strong smell of raspberry.

I will be coming back to this and the other greens when the weather warms up and I can do them iced. It was a pretty average “green tea” taste with some raspberry overtones, but it didn’t do anything specail for me. I want to see what it tastes like when I can make it stronger and over ice.

As a winter hot tea, it’s not doing anything particular for me.

Flavors: Raspberry

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Ah, I knew there were probably going to be some herbal tisanes in this Advent Calendar from Steepologie,. This one is a pretty standard floral/mint herbal, with bonus eucalyptus leaves. And it does absolutely nothing for me.

Herbals are often hit or miss for me, because I want my hot leaf juice to have the taste of proper tea, but I do like herbal tisanes from time to time. However, they’re usually the spiced/cocoa-shell varieties, and this one has no spice to it at all. It’s a bit like drinking what lotion smells like.

For someone who enjoys mint or floral herbals, this tisane is probably quite good. I am not one of those people. So it goes.

Flavors: Eucalyptus, Floral, Peppermint

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drank Impenetrable by Friday Afternoon
61 tasting notes

This tea scratches the same itch that Tea & Absinthe’s “Elixer of Wisdom” does – namely, a black(ish) tea with floral notes. I don’t think I like it quite as much as I like Wisdom, but that’s a bit like saying I don’t like vegetarian masala burgers from Trader Joe’s as much as I like a gourmet hamburger from a specialty restaurant.

This is a fine floral tea. The aftertaste has a pleasantly minty feel to it, for all that it’s not mint at all. (I think that’s probably the green tea that my tastebuds strongly associate with mint.) The aroma is good, also. I can slightly make out the flavor of apple, but I’m not sure I’d know what an osmanthus flower tastes like, so I can’t tell if I can taste it. (I can definitely taste the linden. I’ve had linden honey. It’s yummy.)

My spouse wanted to know if I would drink this – he’s the one who bought it, as he’s more of an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan than I am. I will drink it! But I’m not going to be seeking it out, so it’s getting the top rating for something I’m not actively looking to put in my cabinet on the regular.

Good tea, definitely glad I drank it.

Flavors: Apple, Floral, Green, Linden

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Steepologie Advent of Tea, day two!

I am not really a mint tea-seeking person. That’s just a general thing. But my grandfather was very fond of gunpowder green tea in the morning, so I was already predisposed to like this one a bit more than I otherwise might.

So. Very minty. Not unpleasantly so, but it’s a very single note. (Unsurprising, it’s just spearmint and green tea.) I have no objections to it, but it’s also not something I’m going to seek out.

I can definitely see why Steepologie has a recipe for making a mojito with this tea. However, since I’m a morning-tea person, that’s not really going to be something I want to do. I’m going to go brew myself a cup of assam so I can have my proper caffeine-and-tannin fix for the day.

(I would like to observe that we do not appear to have MINT!!! as an option for “what flavors and scents do you notice,” so the flavors and scents don’t really adequately cover the level of “yes, this is mint tea” that I want. ;-)

Flavors: Mint, Spearmint

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A friend gave me the Steepologie Advent Calendar this year. (Thank you C!)

First day: Majesty’s Chai. Still one of my all time favorite chais. This calendar is off to a great start. Yum.

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drank Vanilla by Adagio Teas
61 tasting notes

Part of my tea-exchange sampler for the season – this one’s a perfectly serviceable vanilla tea, but not one I need to keep in my cabinet. I’ll finish the sample, and move on.

Flavors: Vanilla

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drank Oriental Spice by Adagio Teas
61 tasting notes

It’s a basic spice tea. Nothing particularly jumped out about it for me, and I don’t feel the need to keep it in the house. I got it as part of a sample pack of other spiced/nut teas, and there’s nothing wrong with it at all, but it doesn’t spark joy.

I’ll finish the sample pack, but I don’t feel any need to get more. Very much a “shrug, OK” tea for me.

Flavors: Clove, Spices

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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drank Hazelnut by Adagio Teas
61 tasting notes

I am currently out of my chestnut tea, which is one of my favorite Adagio teas, so I was pleased to get this one as part of my annual tea-gifting that my friends and I do amongst each other. Hazelnuts are more common than chestnuts in some types of things, but they’re less common in tea, and this one was quite good and scratched the same itch as the chestnut.

It’s a lovely nutty flavor, along with the proper “yes there is black tea in here” and it brewed twice without notable degradation in flavor.

Since this one is so similar in terms of what I would be drinking it for, I’m unlikely to seek it out when I have Chestnut in the house – but if Chestnut is unavailable for some reason, I will swap it in without compunction and be just as happy.

Definitely a success.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Tea

180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

Now that I’m not out of my chestnut, I have to compare these two. It’s possible I might actually like the hazelnut more. SCIENCE.

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95-100: I will keep this on my shelf at all times if possible.
85-94: This tea is probably in active rotation in my house and getting drunk a lot (or it’s about to be).
75-84: I liked it. I will probably keep a small tin of it around.
65-74: I liked it. I might keep a small tin of it around, but I will not mourn its loss if it disappears from sale.
50-64: Meh.
0-49: No.

I like real tea (camellia sinensis). Black with milk and no sugar, unless it’s a really froofy chai latte. Green with no milk.

I’ve discovered through trial and error that I really don’t like Rooibus, even when it’s mixed with black tea. (Sadly.)

Herbal tisanes are not out of the running, but I have to be in the right mood and they have to be sufficiently strongly powered that I don’t miss the tea leaves.

By preference, I drink loose-leaf, but I will drink bagged tea if it’s good enough.

My icon is a piece of fantastic art by Ursula Vernon called Cattail Tea.

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