1451 Tasting Notes

58
drank Soho Earl by Talbott Teas
1451 tasting notes

I’m feeling a little more encouraged by this cup than I was by the last. The fragrance isn’t nearly so overwhelming to me now, and it actually does smell like an Earl Grey. A strong Earl Grey but still an Earl Grey. I’m nursing a headache today, along with a bit of soreness from yesterday’s dental work, so I’m hoping this tea will help.

I steeped this one too long so it’s a little bitter. The added cream and honey help though. In fact, this is much, much better with cream and honey. The bergamot is still a bit strong, but it has definitely been tamed. Bumping my rating because it has the potential to be good.

Flavors: Bergamot

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Citrus Lavender Sage by Teavana
1451 tasting notes

I’ve had this tea once or twice before. My husband likes to make me a cup of this when I’m feeling sickly. This will be the first time I’ve made it on my own. The mix consists of very large pieces of citrus and dried fruit. There appears to be pineapple and also one giant piece of citrus rind. It’s very fragrant – it smells sweet and fruity. After steeping, this tea smells mostly of citrus. The liquid is very light in color. This one really needs some kind of sweetener to tame the bitterness of the citrus. I added some extra honey and the flavor is much better, but it’s still the citrus that I taste. No lavender or sage. There is something there, perhaps the lavender, that is giving off the faintest soapy fragrance. It’s not detrimental to the tea at all; it just adds another layer. My husband is smart to make this on sick days. The citrus in the warm tea really does bring about a certain feeling of comfort. This one is good.

Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Soap, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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78
drank Qi'Lan Fireside Oolong by Teavana
1451 tasting notes

Since joining Steepster and reading through many tea notes, I’ve thought about how amazing it is that teas can have different scents and fragrances that I never would have associated with tea. Aromas such as wood, baked bread, and hay. It’s incredible that there are so many different variations and flavors, so many different experiences to be had, within one cup of tea.

I can finally say today that I’ve experienced this myself with this cup of oolong. I can see now what people mean when they say that a tea is reminiscent of warm, freshly baked bread. I get a sense of that here. It’s savory, but also sweet. The leaves themselves are very dark and smell almost fruity, though I’m not really tasting fruit in the brewed cup.

I’m not sure what is in this tea, but it is so calming. I feel completely relaxed and ready for sleep.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Fruity, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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64
drank Raspberry Pineapple Luau by Teavana
1451 tasting notes

This smells just like fruit gummies! It looks like an herbal tea because the majority of the blend consists of large pieces of dried fruit, but there are some tea leaves in there. After steeping for only two minutes, the liquid is a very pale and watery coral pink color. The fragrance is much the same as the dry tea. Unsweetened, I can taste the raspberry. It’s also a bit tart. I don’t really taste the pineapple. I’m thinking this might be really good cold, maybe even mixed in as part of a raspberry lemonade.

Flavors: Candy, Fruity, Raspberry, Tart

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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91
drank Vanilla Comoro by Harney & Sons
1451 tasting notes

Ever since I saw Veronica’s note last night about drinking this with peppermint schnapps, I knew I had to have some. I don’t have the schnapps, unfortunately, but I can still have the tea.

Oh wow, I cannot get over how good this one smells. It is, beyond a doubt, COOKIE. I think I may have underestimated this one in my last note. Tonight’s cup is dark and sweet with a lingering cookie scent. I still don’t get much vanilla, but the tea is strong and just what I needed. I’m bumping my rating on this one because I think it may become a regular.

Flavors: Cookie

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML
Veronica

This is a good one. :)

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55
drank Decaffeinated Chai by Twinings
1451 tasting notes

This tea is not one of my favorites. I’ve tried other chai that I enjoy much more. I’m sure it would be much better if brewed with milk, but today I’m just having this with lots of honey.

As a side note, I recently found the Steepster tea randomizer in one of the forums here. It’s fun to use when I can’t quite decide on a tea to drink, especially when I’m packing my lunch for work the night before. It also gives me a good reason to try teas I wouldn’t normally reach for like this one.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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86
drank Cistus Black by Verdant Tea (Special)
1451 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)
1451 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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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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