42 Tasting Notes

20

We should start by noting rooibos isn’t my thing, but if I have a sample I’m going to try it, since some have surprised me. I wasn’t optimistic about this one though because the scent put me off immediately.

Usually, I’m good with longer and stronger brews, but the first cup I made of this I couldn’t drink. Second round I kept it at the 5 minute low end of their estimated range, and it was tolerable. The clove is strong and helps offset the rooibos flavor, and I finally got a hint of the fruit. Not a tea for me, but if you like rooibos and clove, you should enjoy this.

Flavors: Clove, Rooibos

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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88

The combination of hibiscus and spice easily wins me over, so this tea was a hit for me. It feels a little like bringing some winter warmth to a summer blend. I don’t know if I notice the mint in particular, though it could be contributing to the refreshing feeling of the tea overall, but the cinnamon is evident. It reminded me of another favorite of mine – Herbal Seasons by Davidsons – so I’ll finish that before I buy any more of this; it is going on the list though!

Flavors: Cinnamon, Hibiscus, Tart

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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75

This is an interesting tea, certainly different from most of what I’ve tried.

For once, I’m relieved the scent doesn’t come through as much in the flavor. The scent is overwhelmingly sweet – a little bit of something bitter, but a lot of butterscotch candy vibes.

The taste continues to fascinate me. I definitely got the smokiness and something bitter, and the sweet was a nice edge to the flavor. It felt almost rich, especially when steeped a longer time. The tea reminded my partner (not a tea drinker, fwiw) of a pipe tobacco.

I don’t know if I’d buy it, but I’d be excited to drink it again.

Flavors: Smoke, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling

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72

I grabbed this with the sipsby sale on iced tea boxes and the bright tropical scent drew me in; I wanted to brew this one immediately. I could probably have a bowl of this stuff out on the counter just to enjoy smelling it all day.

I couldn’t taste much going on in the tea once it was brewed, however. It was a decent black tea, lightly flavored with something vaguely floral and a hint of fruit, but it didn’t quite meet the mark. I’d try it again and see if a cold brew might help bring out some of that fruit.

Flavors: Floral, Tropical

Preparation
Iced

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10
drank Maui Madness by DAVIDsTEA
42 tasting notes

This tea is making me rethink my DavidsTea purchases, and unfortunately not in a good way. So many of their blends that sound amazing iced have overpowering artificial sweetener going on, and it really ruins it for me. I got this one in the summer seasonal box.

The smell is fantastic. I’d wear a perfume with this scent (and I think I have a few that get close). It’s a bold, citrus punch with a hint of sweet.

I brewed this one iced. It was weak and pale, so I revisited with some extra tea & steeping. I still couldn’t do it. It reminded me of taking an iced passionfruit tea from Starbucks, ruining it with sweetener, and then watering it down so you couldn’t taste the fruit anymore.

My partner enjoyed it enough to finish the pitcher, or it would have gone down the drain.

Flavors: Artificial, Sweet

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5
drank Energy by Ahmad Tea
42 tasting notes

I don’t know precisely what I’m tasting, but this particular tea reminds me of going to the grocery store while sick and grabbing some kind of medicinal something that promises to make you feel better, and it kind of does but also it’s a little gross and then the box is relegated to the back of the cupboard until you get sick again or toss it?

Flavors: Medicinal

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91

I was intrigued by the August Uncommon brand and the idea of a violet tea named “metallic”. The scent did remind me of something metallic, though also bright and fruity. The taste is something more subtle, but pleasant. Each sip felt a little bit different at first; there’s more going on than my limited palate can discern! I’m excited to try more from this brand and hope to get more of this tea soon.

Flavors: Fruity, Violet

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84

This tea changed my mind about earl grey, and perhaps also vanilla! The bergamot and vanilla were balanced well and I loved each cup. It also makes a great tea latte.

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76

I chose a cold brew for this since the packet said “best iced” and “made for iced tea”. I’m not sure I would pick a spiced tea for iced tea on my own, but it worked well enough!

The spice comes through, more than any kind of berry. I wouldn’t consider this fruity at all; maybe a touch on first sip before it settles into spiced black tea?

I’ll give it “refreshing”. Overall, a pleasant tea.

Flavors: Cinnamon

Preparation
Iced

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70

I’m not a coffee drinker but sometimes need caffeine; I’ve enjoyed other Zest flavors for that pick-me-up. This one showed up in a Sipsby box.

It’s a pleasant green tea, lightly fruity, but unremarkable hot. As a hot cup I wouldn’t necessarily choose it except for that caffeine boost. Reading another tasting note, I think I would be interested in trying it again iced.

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Bio

Lecturer and mom of 2 in California. Great at buying tea, good at drinking tea, bad at timely reviews. Drawn to fruit, floral, spice, and flavored teas in general; prefer those that stand well without milk or sweetener.

Still figuring this out, but slowly adding to cupboard. I rate when a package is finished as I’m deciding whether to reorder.

I think of my ratings as letter grades.
90-100 A: loved it; want to rebuy immediately so I have it on hand
80-89 B: tasty; would pick it up again but okay to wait until I get through other teas
70-79 C: good; would grab with a good deal
60-69 D: okay; might repurchase in the right circumstances
0-59 F: various shades of bad; would not purchase; closer to 0 means may not even drink again if offered

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