1392 Tasting Notes

80

Harvest & Year: Spring 2020

Chocolaty goodness. I think this might be my favorite of the Yunnan Sourcing teas I’ve tried so far. Of course I’m going to compare this to my best and beloved chocolate tea, Nepal Black from DT. I haven’t found one I like better, but this one’s very good.

Flavors: Chocolate

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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81
drank Glazed Lemon Loaf by Tazo
1392 tasting notes

How does this actually smell like cake?! And taste like vanilla frosting?? I’ve heard a lot about this tea, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it since Michelle sent a bag in her tea box. If I weren’t selfish, I would have let James have it since he loves lemon and herbals. Instead, I let him smell the inside of the tea wrapper after I drank it. Yeah, I’m not exactly winning any awards for wife of the year. Oh well.

I added some cream for World Milk Day and it really seems to bring out more of the lemon flavor. That surprised me. I would have thought it would encourage the creamy frosting to shine, but it didn’t. I have to give this one a good rating, if only for the fact that Tazo nailed the flavor here. But I also really, really liked it.

I almost forgot – Happy Pride, everyone! <3

Flavors: Cake, Frosting, Lemon, Sweet, Tart, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML
Mastress Alita

I am always amazed at how good this tea is, no matter how it is prepared.

ashmanra

I laughed til I nearly cried when you said you let him smell the inside of the tea wrapper AFTER you drank it!

gmathis

OHH! Milk! I have got to try that!

Shae

@Mastress Alita – I’ve only tried it this once, but I’m planning to buy a box. I’ll have to read some of the other notes again to find some new ways to try it. I feel like it would be really good if I dropped a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream in it, but maybe that’s too much…
@ashmanra – I probably wouldn’t feel too bad about it except that when he smelled it his eyes flew open in obvious excitement. This is one of those rare blends we both like.
@gmathis – I wouldn’t have normally thought of milk with the lemon, except I noticed in another note that someone had tried it and loved it. It was really good this way!

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100

A travel tumbler of my favorite tea to-go. Spent some quality time with family (outdoors) on this beautiful Sunday.

Edit: Found out that one of the medicines I take is an immunomodulator so the vaccine I just got on Friday may or may not be as effective as it should be. It should still provide some protection, I think, but I may need to check for antibodies later on. This makes me a teensy bit nervous, but it’s been okay so far so hopefully my luck continues.

Preparation
Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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48
drank Breathe Deep by Yogi Tea
1392 tasting notes

My husband made me drink it…

Feeling dizzy/woozy after my COVID vaccine for some reason, but aside from that I haven’t had any side effects. Well, other than the sore arm. That I expected. Breathe Deep is James’ go-to medicinal tea, now curing all ailments apparently, so I was brought a nearly overflowing cup of it and told to drink ALL of it. Which I didn’t do, of course. I drank half then snuck into the kitchen and tossed the rest down the sink. This stuff is just gross.

Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
Boiling 10 OZ / 295 ML

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72

This reminds me a lot of Teavana’s White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos but without the strong licorice root aftertaste. I don’t taste any lavender, but I’m okay with that. I like this one more than I expected, but probably not enough to buy a whole box. Thanks for sharing, Devon Bartholomew!

Flavors: Peppermint, White Chocolate

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 10 OZ / 295 ML

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70
drank Chocolate Rooibos by HEB
1392 tasting notes

Michelle recommended a full ten minute steep for this one, so I steeped this according to her suggestion. It smells very much like chocolate liqueur right out of the bag, a definite alcohol aroma, but while steeping I’m getting something different. I’m immediately reminded of a hospital cafeteria. Weird. Why? And then I realized —> IT’S COFFEE. This smells like coffee. Huh? I don’t know where that’s coming from. I can taste the rooibos above all else, followed by the chocolate, but I’m still puzzled by this coffee element. I’ve search all over the internet for the ingredients to this tea and can’t seem to find them anywhere. I do hope there isn’t actually coffee in this one though, since I’m drinking this late in the afternoon and I’d really like to sleep tonight. Even though it specifically says rooibos, I have come across a couple of blends before that say herbal (for example) in the title and they ended up having puerh and black tea in the mix. Definitely misleading.

Side note – I’m so excited to have finally received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine! Thanks, Leafhopper, for the encouragement earlier this week. :) I’ve felt so behind since I haven’t been able to get it yet. Many people I know are already fully vaccinated, including my husband. I’ve also been especially anxious about it these last few weeks, since my dad was in the hospital and my father-in-law isn’t doing so well health-wise. I was supposed to have gotten it already, but I got sick with a cold and had to postpone. Anyway, I’m typing all this out because I feel super proud of myself today and wanted to share. I have Dysautonomia which causes my autonomic nervous system to act irrationally, so I was very nervous and worried about having a reaction and/or blacking out during the vaccine. I really had to mentally prepare myself for this, as silly as that may sound, and I was so proud of myself for making it through. I came out of that pharmacy grinning ear to ear. :D

Flavors: Alcohol, Chocolate, Coffee, Rooibos

Preparation
Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML
Martin Bednář

Yay for vaccine! And for you that you have decided to go through even you could have serious side effects.

Shae

Thanks, Martin! And surprisingly I don’t feel too bad today, that’s a bonus.

Martin Bednář

That’s indeed a nice bonus!

Michelle

It could be a coffee flavor in the herbal tea, but I was curious so I got out my other HEB favorite tea, Cinnamon Spice. A large ‘Caffeine Free’ banner is on the Cinnamon Spice packet and I remember that it has mostly chamomile and cinnamon. So it could be there is some coffee in the Chocolate Rooibos. HEB stores don’t all have the exact same inventory, and I while I looked for it during my last visit to Houston, I might have to search HEBs until I find a box again. I like a challenge, I’ll figure out if there is coffee in this or not!
Yay for vaccines, and thanks for sharing that you are proud to get one without incident. Things that seem simple and mundane for some are difficult and nerve wracking for others, you never know what people are going through by just looking at them. It’s awesome you recognize your triumph and are happy with it!

Shae

I would be curious to know! I don’t remember that it kept me up or made me jittery, so maybe it was just a flavoring added to enhance the chocolate. And yes, you’re so right – we really don’t know what others are feeling or what might have happened to them earlier that day or week. So many people juggle so many things. I feel like sometimes it’s just enough to make it day to day.

Side note – I’m about to drink the Cinnamon Spice tea you sent! Looking forward to it since you said it’s your favorite HEB tea.

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75
drank Blueberry & Honey by TEViVe
1392 tasting notes

For National Blueberry Cheesecake Day courtesy of Devon Bartholomew.

I know this is one of Devon’s favorites, so I was excited to get to try it! There is a strong blueberry aroma, as there should be, and a sweetness that I can’t identify. I’m sure it’s the honey flavoring, but it doesn’t really smell like honey. It’s definitely unique. No honey in the flavor either, but I can taste the blueberry. I’m glad it was a black base and not an herbal. I always like a fruity black tea, and the convenience of a tea bag is an added benefit.

Flavors: Blueberry, Sweet

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

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Harvest & Year: Spring 2020

Ahh, this tea is so beautiful! And it smells amazing. Lovely golden dust floating all around and over everything. I left this to steep for too long, of course, but it’s still tasty even if a little bitter/astringent.

Side note – I finished up a quick inventory of the tea cabinet last night and I’m missing four teas! I keep everything separated into specific bins/drawers based on tea type so I’m not sure how they’ve managed to disappear. It’s not a big deal really, but I’m perplexed. I feel like I need to keep looking and looking until they are found, but I don’t know where else to look! I suppose if that’s the only thing going wrong for me today, then I shall count myself lucky. :)

Flavors: Chocolate, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 7 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mastress Alita

I have that problem when a tea goes missing. Usually I find the culprit “miscataloged” (a white tea stuck in the green tea drawer, etc.) There was a bit of shuffling when I moved houses.

Martin Bednář

Weren’t those teas sent to someone else?

Shae

I thought perhaps I’d thrown them in the wrong bin too, so I checked all of them twice. I’ll probably check them all again today because I JUST CANT LET IT GO.

I checked my swap spreadsheet too, Martin, but I never sent them out. :/ I’ll probably find them in two years stuffed in a sock drawer or someother random spot…

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Harvest: Spring, March 2020

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

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Harvest: Spring, May 2020

I tried my best to scoop this with my teaspoon, but the leaves are long and gangly so I’m not entirely sure everything made it into the cup. There wasn’t a weight recommendation on the package or I would have measured, so I just went with it. The dry leaf smells to me like raisins, which I don’t like to eat but do love the flavor in tea. I taste sweet potato in the finished cup and, surprisingly, peach. I’m not sure I’ve ever tasted peach in a tea that’s not actually flavored with peach, so this was a nice surprise. I love stone fruits and black tea together. I will say that it’s lighter than I would like, not sure if that’s because I didn’t get enough on my teaspoon or if I need to increase the steep time. Compared to the Tiger Assam I had a couple of days ago, this isn’t as dark and luscious as I would have liked. Still enjoying it though, especially with that peach note.

Flavors: Peach, Raisins, Stonefruit, Sweet Potatoes

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Leafhopper

This is one of my favourite black teas! It’s definitely a little lighter than Indian Assam. I also don’t mind raisin notes in tea, but avoid raisins like the plague.

Shae

Same, I honestly only like them in Raisin Bran when they’re caked in sugar. And even that doesn’t make any sense.

Leafhopper

LOL. Everything is better when it’s covered in sugar. :)

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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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