1486 Tasting Notes

drank Limeade Twist Herbal Tea by Teavana
1486 tasting notes

My husband told me this morning that this has become one of his favorite teas. He said that it’s the closest thing to key lime pie that he’s tried yet. His favorite dessert. I’ve actually been putting off tasting it, I think because I really can’t wrap my head around hot limeade.

The aroma is all citrus, of course. There are bits of citrus peel in the mix and maybe some dried apple too. After steeping, all but the citrus peel has turned to mush. The liquid itself is cloudy with pulp. It smells very tart.

The taste itself is tart and bitter all at once. It’s very strong and is reminiscent of chewing on a piece of lime zest. It does kind of have a grapefruit flavor to it as well though I’m not sure if there is actually grapefruit in this blend.

I’m seriously thinking about tossing the rest of this. The only reason I haven’t yet is because I know my husband loves it and spared this precious sample knowing that the bag was already so near empty. I certainly don’t want to waste one of his favorites.

Flavors: Bitter, Citrus, Citrus Zest, Grapefruit, Tart

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Berry Kiwi Colada by Teavana
1486 tasting notes

The dry mix is full of all sorts of things, such as dried pineapple, rose hips, hibiscus, coconut, and some kind of dried leaf. It’s very fragrant and fresh-smelling. I can smell the strawberry most of all.

The taste is very tart and almost has a waxy quality to it. I steeped a little longer this first time around so maybe that is part of the reason it’s so tart. The honey helps to tone it down and actually make it into a nice cup though. I do like it. It has kind of a tropical feel to it and almost tastes like hard candies.

Flavors: Candy, Strawberry, Tart, Tropical

Boiling 8 min or more 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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I’ve been excited to try this one ever since Amariel sent me a bag of it in our swap. I’ve put it off until I had a nice weekend morning to take the time to enjoy it and give a good description of it here. I think it’s so interesting that this blend include five teas – two black teas, one pu’er tea, one oolong tea, and one white tea. I’m not sure how it will work out since each of those is typically steeped so differently, but I’m going to follow the directions on Verdant’s website and see how it goes.

After steeping for the recommended 30 seconds, both the tea leaves and the liquid have that same roasted quality that I always seem to notice in an oolong tea. It’s like fresh, crusty bread. I can also smell the black tea in the wet leaves though not so much in the tea liquid. The taste is the same as the aroma, a pleasant roasted flavor. I like this even better as it cools. I think the flavors of the black tea are coming out a little more.

This is a wonderful tea to have with today’s breakfast – a Conecuh sausage biscuit slathered with mango lime jam. Thanks again to Amariel for sharing!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Roasted

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Chamomile by Adagio Teas
1486 tasting notes

Thank you to Nichole for sharing some of this tea with me!

My husband and I went for sushi tonight and decided as we were leaving for our dinner date that we would share some tea once we made it back home. We picked up a couple of teas on our way, one of which he is drinking now. I bought myself a minty black tea but decided to have this one instead since it’s so late.

When I opened the bag, my husband remarked that it smelled like honey and oats. I didn’t have that experience, but this does smell stronger than other chamomile teas I’ve had. The sachet actually had whole flowers mixed in with the usual powdery bits so that was a nice change. I steeped this according to the package directions and the liquid soon became a nice reddish color, almost like a light rooibos. I took a sip and was surprised to find that it actually tasted really bitter. I’m baffled because I don’t think I’ve ever had chamomile turn bitter for me before. Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to see past that flavor so I’m really not enjoying it.

It’s not the chamomile for me, but I’m still glad I was able to try it. Thanks again, Nichole!

Flavors: Bitter

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

I feel that way with some earl grey teas… I like earl grey, but not all.


I guess I just always thought that one chamomile tasted like another. I’ve never really had one that was so different. Lesson learned. :)

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drank Queen of Babylon by Teavana
1486 tasting notes

I’m feeling a little hesitant about this one since I had to do quite a bit of tweaking with the last white tea I bought from Teavana. Hopefully this one won’t be nearly as fussy.

This blend appears to be split evenly between white tea leaves and dried fruit. I can see pineapple and citrus peel plus vibrant orange-colored pieces which I’m guessing must be the carrots I noticed on the label. I can definitely smell the citrus which reminds me of Teavana’s Citrus Lavender Sage but with a fruitier feel. After steeping, the leaves have a tart aroma. This tastes a little like citrus but really it’s just dull and a bit astringent. Thank goodness it’s not bitter though. It’s just surprising to me that this can taste so bland after adding extra tea leaves and using less water.

Flavors: Astringent, Citrus, Fruity, Tart

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Piper & Leaf has the most amazing smelling blends. All of the loose leaf teas I’ve bought from them are so fragrant. This particular blend has cubes of bright orange fruit (I’m guessing peach, but the ingredients also list apricot and papaya so it could be one of those), pale yellow flower petals, and hibiscus pieces. There are also a few pops of royal blue from the lavender.

This smells sweet and fruity. I can taste the flavor of the hibiscus in the resulting brew, though not necessarily the tartness. There are so many ingredients here but I’m not really tasting the complexity. It’s good and I’m enjoying it, but I’m not picking up on some of the flavors. I can taste ripe fruit but cannot seem to distinguish between the fruits . It’s a bit astringent as well.

I thought I had logged this one here before but I guess I haven’t. I’m sure I’ve tried this though so maybe it was just a sip from my husband’s cup.

Flavors: Astringent, Fruity, Hibiscus, Sweet

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Inner Calm #5 by Verdant Tea (Special)
1486 tasting notes

This smells mostly of anise with a touch of licorice. The steeped tea leaves have a spicier scent to them, but not like chai. It has a sweeter aroma. They also smell a bit like curry powder. I need the extra kick from the spices this morning since I’ve been fighting off a headache. I’m hoping this spicy tea will clear my head.

My grandmother passed along the recipe for a Lebanese cookie she used to make and now I make them twice a year. The recipe calls for soaking and then draining anise seeds in boiling water before adding the seeds to the cookie dough. This tea reminds me of the anise liquid I would have leftover after making those cookies. Straight anise flavor.

Second Steep
8 ounces water + 205 degrees + 1 minute

This cups smells slightly peppery, like ground black pepper.

Flavors: Anise, Black Pepper, Licorice, Spices, Sweet

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Thank you to Amariel for sharing this tuocha with me! I was excited to see this arrive as part of Amariel’s package because I’ve tried puerh before and really liked it. The only thing is that the puerh teas I’ve tried before were either flavored or part of a blend so this will be my first time to try it on its own. I’ve also never done anything with a tuocha so this will be a learning process all the way around.

I opened the silver pouch and out slides the cutest little disc of tea. It’s wrapped in paper covered in what appear to be Chinese characters. I so wish I could read them! It is just so beautiful. The tea itself smells very good, no hint of fishiness here. I have to say that I’m a little nervous about the flavor after seeing another note say that this tastes like mushrooms. I’m not a fan so I hope I don’t pick up any of that.

I stepped away from my desk so I steeped this far too long, close to 10 minutes when the recommended time was 4-6 minutes. The leaves did break up on their own as I had read they would and they are now a dull green in the bottom of my basket. Both the leaves and the liquid have a savory aroma. Unfortunately, this is very, very bitter, no doubt because I over-steeped it. It also has some astringency to it. I’m sorry that I wasn’t paying closer attention to this one since it’s the only tuocha I have. Maybe the leaves will still be okay for another cup or two.

I can really feel the effects from the caffeine in this one. Or maybe it was all the sugar in the Pop Tart I just ate.? :)

Boiling 8 min or more 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Backlog from March 31, 2015:

I’m terribly behind on adding my tasting notes here, but I promise I do have them all written down in my little notebook. I’m slowly working through the list. Here is a quick blurb that I wrote down but forgot to log back in March.

My husband keeps telling me that I need to try this tea because he really loved the one bag of this that he’s tried so far. It smells fantastic, like chamomile and sweet, ripe fruit. Unfortunately, it has a bit of an artificial flavor. It’s not really sweet on its own so I added a little extra honey which is also helping to improve the flavor. I’m not sure it tastes as good as it smells, but it’s still enjoyable.

Flavors: Artificial, Fruity, Sweet

Boiling 7 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Green Tea & Pomegranate by Earth Fare
1486 tasting notes

I’m having a late night cup tonight after finishing up my tea cabinet. I have been meaning to go through everything for a while, to take note of what I have and what I’ve finished. Not too much had changed, but I did have several teas to add and few to take off my list so I’m glad to have finished it.

I mainly chose to have a cup of this green tea because I wanted to snap a picture to add here since I couldn’t find one on Earth Fare’s website. I’ve had this a couple of times before and, as usual, this tea is bitter. I don’t know if it’s something I’m doing or if it’s the tea. Aside from the bitterness, it’s not so bad; it just doesn’t taste at all like the pomegranate it promises. Just as it did in earlier cups, it begins to taste better once it’s started to cool.

I do think this has potential if I could just figure out its secret.

Flavors: Bitter

175 °F / 79 °C 5 min, 0 sec 6 OZ / 177 ML

Thanks for the sample of this one. I had the same issue as you!


You’re very welcome though I’m sorry you had trouble with it too. I’ll probably end up cold brewing the rest of mine to see if that helps. It was a pretty big box so I still have quite a few bags left. :)

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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!

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.


Alabaster, Alabama



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