1395 Tasting Notes

86
drank Cistus Black by Verdant Tea (Special)
1395 tasting notes

I have to admit, I became a little afraid of this one when I first opened the pouch. The aroma is so strong and pungent and absolutely unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m not even sure I know how to describe it. Verdant’s description compares this to an Earl Grey, but I’m not getting that at all. My only guess is that this scent belongs to the Cistus oil, a product that I am entirely unfamiliar with. So I’ve held this one back to try as my last sample from Verdant’s January blends box.

I must say that the tea itself is beautiful – there are long, dark, twisted pieces filling up the bag and pops of pink from the rose petals mixed in. The fragrance tones itself down upon steeping and the tea becomes a very pleasant and warming cup of flavorful black tea. I can’t say that I taste the rose or rooibos here, but I can still smell what I believe to be the Cistus oil. It is faint and serves to add another dimension to the already remarkable black tea base. This might be my favorite out of the whole box, which surprises me since it’s the one I was must uncertain about.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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60

My first tea on this overcast January morning. With the weather as it is, I fully expect to have more than one cup today.

This tea came to me as part of Verdant’s January blends box. There is plenty of fennel in the mix as well as a little mint and some rooibos. The scent is mostly mint, but I’m also catching a glimpse of the sarsaparilla.

It amazes me that after only thirty seconds of steeping this tea has such a rich color. I guess I’m used to steeping dark teas for several minutes to achieve that kind of richness and flavor. Perhaps this is due to the high quality of the tea? Whatever it is, I’m impressed. The flavor is mint, though I wouldn’t call this a mint tea. It’s barely there, kind of hanging out on the edge of the cup. I’m also not tasting any of the fennel or the sarsaparilla here. It actually feels a bit one-dimensional. This is a very straightforward and uncomplicated tea, light-bodied but certainly not lacking in flavor.

Flavors: Mint, Sarsaparilla

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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82

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56
drank Cola Blend by Verdant Tea (Special)
1395 tasting notes

This blend is my first to sample of the three teas that arrived today in Verdant’s January blends box.

Upon opening the pouch, I notice first that the tea smells spiced. There is also a scent there that I can’t recognize. It reminds me of the soaps and essential oils section at my local health food store. Perhaps it’s the neroli? I’m not familiar with it so I cannot say for sure. I can see cloves, cacao nibs, and a small amount of rooibos. The rooibos definitely comes out while steeping and makes the tea smell almost sweet. I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed that I can’t taste any of the spices. It really just tastes like a straight rooibos tea to me, though it certainly is a good rooibos.

Flavors: Rooibos, Spices, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86
drank Moroccan Mint by Tealated
1395 tasting notes

Thank you to Rosanne and Tealated for the large sample of this Moroccan Mint tea. I’ve been meaning to try this for a few days but since the weather has been so cold here I’ve put it off in favor of heartier black teas. Well, the cold isn’t going away anytime soon so now is as good a time as any to put this in my cup.

This tea smells mostly of spearmint and the dry mix is made up of bits of green and brown leaves of various sizes. It looks like there might be a few stems thrown in as well but that’s fine by me – herb stems typically carry some of the flavor of the leaves. The green tea is rolled into compact little pellets. I’m guessing that’s the gunpowder green though I’m not sure since I don’t think I’ve tried it before.

The flavor is a slightly cooling mint, but it isn’t at all overpowering like some mint teas I’ve tried. I’m not really picking up on the green at this point – just mint. The aroma is reminiscent of a dewy spring morning when everything is starting to thaw and peek out through the dirt. I love how refreshing the scent is. That fresh quality transfers over to the taste and has brought a faint smile to my lips. This really doesn’t need sweetener but I’m going to add a bit of honey to see if it will draw the flavors out.

Wow, I’m really enjoying this. The honey adds some sweetness, of course, but doesn’t do anything to develop the flavors. It’s good enough on its own. This one is definitely above average for me. I’ll be ordering more once my sample runs out. Thanks again, Rosanne!

. . .

I’m trying a re-steep of this and it smells like pickles (??). Strange. I’m guessing I burned through most of the mint during the first steep. I’m tasting more of the tea and much less of the mint. I’ve left it unsweetened this time since I can’t imagine honey going well with pickles. :)

Flavors: Mint, Spearmint

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Tealated

Thanks for the review & for trying our tea!

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58
drank Soho Earl by Talbott Teas
1395 tasting notes

The weather when I woke up this morning was 7°F which, if you’ve ever been to Alabama, is COLD. Those of you who live up north will laugh but they actually delayed opening schools this morning! No ice, no snow, just cold. I grabbed this tea out of the cupboard at the last minute because I knew it would be cold and I would need something strong and warming.

Upon opening the bag, the first and most prominent thing I noticed was the smell of bergamot. It was almost overwhelming. It had a bitter edge to it and still does now even after steeping. It is drying but sticky, and it leaves a burning sensation on my tongue. It’s also perfumy but not at all in a good way. I let this one cool and it’s a bit easier to drink now but not by much. It’s not like any bergamot I’ve experienced before. It’s too much, too harsh.

Flavors: Bergamot, Bitter, Drying, Perfume

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 15 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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52

It’s funny, the brewing instructions on the back of my sample advise me to brew the full sample with 16oz of water – that’s for a full ounce of tea! Granted, this blend does have rock sugar included, but I’m still thinking that’s a lot of tea for two cups. This one may be on par with the strength and sweetness found in their store samples. Even so, I only brought an 8oz mug to work this morning with my small tea ball so that won’t work for me. I’ll just fill up my tea ball and see where it takes me.

This blend smells very spicy – there is some cinnamon here and a bit of sweetness. Looking at the blend, there are very large pieces of sugar along with lemongrass, coriander, dried and candied fruit pieces, and a mix of green-colored tea leaves. Steeping, this smells like cinnamon candies, but more sweet than spicy. The flavor is unremarkable – it tastes only of cinnamon.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Spicy, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
SpecialTEATIME

I thought the same thing when I received this sample, wow that’s a lot of tea! I picked out all the rock sugar and kept separately, stretching it out among a couple cups of tea. I also did not follow the instructions, but only used half the sample in the perfect tea maker at a time. It was good!

Shae

That’s a great idea! I should have picked out the rock sugar too but didn’t even think about it.

The 13th Doctor

Aaaah, 1 oz of tea would be a lot. In store we use 3 teaspoons of each for a 32 oz tea maker :) I’m currently drinking this one :) mmmmmmm

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90
drank Paris Breakfast by Talbott Teas
1395 tasting notes

The sachet is tea and blue petals. I’m not sure what the cornflowers offer to this mix unless it’s just for color. It smells like a strong black tea which is exactly what I need on this cold, frosty morning. This tea is dark and strong. It’s a touch drying but perfect for what I need today – I wish I had another. I would definitely buy a box of this.

Flavors: Drying, Tea

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Calming by Yogi Tea
1395 tasting notes

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18
drank Blissful Blueberry by Talbott Teas
1395 tasting notes

I wanted something today that wouldn’t be too fussy, something I could pour a little hot water over and be on my way. An herbal tea in a sachet seemed like the best option. The sachet and tea appeared to be of good quality but it had the strangest smell. It was almost like feet. Once I made it past that initial “aroma”, the only other scent I noticed was that of berries.

After steeping, the liquid became a deep red color. It has something suspended throughout, something that looks quite a bit like citrus pulp. And I’m not sure if my sense of smell is off today or what, but the brewed tea smells like a wet dog. Something is off with this one. It’s not at all appetizing. Thankfully, the taste of the tea is better than the smell. It’s tart and astringent and has a generic berry taste. I’m not really picking up on the blueberries specifically though. This has little flavor to me and falls flat in my book. Thank goodness there were only two sachets in my sample pack.

Flavors: Astringent, Berries, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Profile

Bio

Lifetime student. Lover of books and paper and ink. Kitchen dweller. Aspiring herbalist, excessively proud cat lady, and tea fanatic. Thirty-something elder millennial. She/her.

I love flavored black teas most of all, always with cream and honey. I prefer to sweeten my tea as it seems to bring out the flavor. I enjoy floral and fruity teas, as well as flavored or scented ones. I’m not overly fond of green or white teas, but I’ve found a few that I enjoy.

I’m open to tea swaps and/or just sharing what’s in my tea cabinet! Please reach out if you see something I have that you’d like to try. I do my best to update my cupboard regularly.

It will take me longer than usual to get to the post office while we’re in the midst of this pandemic, but I would still love to send you something next time I’m out and about!

Favorites
Any and all black teas, smoky teas, raspberry, strawberry, red fruits, bergamot, chai spices, floral teas, caramel/toffee, jasmine, rose, vanilla, peaches, plums, valerian root, cinnamon, cardamom

Not a huge fan
Lime, white teas, green teas, artificial sweeteners, sarsaparilla, licorice, lemongrass, lavender, hot hibiscus, hibiscus in black tea blends

Rating Scale

1-20: By far, one of the worst teas I’ve tasted. I most certainly will not finish my cup and will likely “gift” the rest to my sweet husband, James, who almost always enjoys the teas I dislike (and vice versa).

21-49: This tea is not good but if I mix it with another tea or find another steeping method I might be able to finish it.

50-70: This one is just okay. I might drink it again if someone were to give it to me, but I probably won’t be buying more for myself.

71-79: This is a consistently good tea. It’s reliable but not necessarily special.

80-90: This one is a notch above the rest and I would gladly enjoy a cup of it any day of the week. I’ll likely be keeping this in my cupboard, but it isn’t one of my all-time favorites.

91-95: One small change and this tea would be perfect. I’ll definitely have a stash of this in my kitchen if you come over for tea.

96-100: No words can describe this tea. It’s an experience, an aha moment. Closed eyes, wide smile, encompassing warmth. Absolutely incredible. Perfect.

Updated July 2021.

Location

Alabaster, Alabama

Website

https://www.goodreads.com/sha...

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