176 Tasting Notes

drank Keemun Rhapsody by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

This is the last of my Black Savant Sampler. The smell is smokey, chocolatey, and a little piney. It’s a rich brown liquid, but not as dark as the Pu-Erh Dante I botched yesterday.

The first sip burned me. Apparently I didn’t let this one cool down enough… My tongue was still tingling in a pained way when I tried my second sip, so I couldn’t taste much except for an earthy tone. The third sip was really good. This is rich tea with a faint hint of sweetness amongst all that earth. I can taste chocolate, earth, and maybe some sort of fruit.

I think it’s really exciting how one’s palate develops. If I had tasted this in September, I probably wouldn’t have even liked it, let alone taste all the different notes in this tea. I’m not sure when my turning point was, but it’s like all of a sudden my eyes [taste buds?] have been opened!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Pu Erh Dante by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

I went ahead and prepared this one before reading Cofftea’s note. I was supposed to rinse the leaves? Whoops. The only other Pu-erh I’ve ever had is Maiden’s Ecstasy by Samovar, and I had to rinse those, so I guess I should’ve known.

The smell is fishy, like how Maiden’s Ecstasy was. It is a very dark brown color, almost like coffee. It tastes like dirt, and not in a good way. I’m going to abstain from rating this one because I didn’t prepare it the right way. I’ll try it again another time and then give it a proper rating.


I’ve had the Dante before and I agree that it’s not the most flavorful of teas and certainly not representative of puerhs in general. My recommendation: near boiling water, 10-25 seconds per infusion.

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drank Garden Aria White Tea by Teavana
176 tasting notes

I have to start off by making a note of how the dry leaves looked. There were whole white tea leaves, but more impressive were the fruit bits. By looking at the dry leaves, I could tell exactly what this tea was going to taste like. You could see every bit of fruit mentioned in the description, but those strawberries! They were huge! It was like somebody cut a strawberry in half, let it dry out, then tossed it in with some white tea. I was really excited to drink this tea just because of how the dry leaves looked with all that fruit in there. And I could smell all the fruit as soon as I opened up the bag. It was very fruity but not artificially sweet.

I have high expectations for this one.

It steeped to a cloudy orange color, like someone diluted a cup of orange juice. It still smells fruity and still not artificial. Now I can smell a bit of peach, even though it’s not listed in the ingredients.

The taste is very light. I can’t really taste the white tea, but I taste fruit. Like the smell, the taste is not overpowering or artificial. I can taste cherries, oranges, peaches (where is that coming from??), and of course strawberries. I like it a lot! I was half expecting it to be bitter from all that fruit, but it isn’t bitter at all. It has just the perfect amount of sweetness.

This is the first Teavana tea that I’ve really enjoyed. Well done!


Can’t wait to try it! =]


Haha I have your box packed, addressed, and waiting right next to me on my desk! You picked some really good teas! I’m so excited to try the 52teas stuff and especially Birthday Tea!

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drank White Grapefruit by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

This is a very delicate tea. The smell is lightly sweet and vegetal. Last time I drank this, I wasn’t getting a whole lot of grapefruit. I didn’t know what it was then, but the 2nd time I’m trying this I realize that I’m tasting just general, nonspecific citrus. The white tea base comes through the citrus very strongly, making for a very cohesive tea all around. I’ve bumped up my rating a point from last time. I’m also planning on trying this iced; I think it’ll be so good once the weather starts getting a little warmer.


Is it really tart? My tongue gets puckery even thinking about most citrus teas.


Not overwhelmingly tart, because it is a very light tea.

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drank White Blueberry by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

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drank Black Dragon Pearls by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

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drank Golden Monkey by Adagio Teas
176 tasting notes

This was the tea that first caused me to fall in love with black teas. Now that I’ve tried more, it’s no longer my favorite tea, but it is still great! I had this today for the first time in a while.

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drank Sweet Cranberry Black by Teavana
176 tasting notes

The aroma of the leaves was very sweet and fruity, but when I steeped them, it smelled like horse manure – very earthy and unpleasantly fragrant. Weird. This made me really scared to taste it. However, the taste isn’t like manure at all. It really does taste like black tea with cranberries and maybe some raspberries. The black tea base is much better than Adagio’s.

This is a pretty rich, strong tea. I won’t drink it too often, but the taste isn’t bad.

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drank Dawn by The Simple Leaf
176 tasting notes

So great. My favorite.

See my other tasting notes for (much) more details.

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drank Royal Garland by Samovar
176 tasting notes

I’ve been really excited to try this one because of all the positive reviews I’ve read.

As per Samovar’s instructions, I rinsed the leaves (or “awakened the leaves,” as they put it) and discarded that first infusion. The 2nd steep’s color was lightly golden yellow. It smelled faintly grassy, but not overwhelmingly so.

I like this. I can taste melons and flowers and sweet things. The aftertaste is a little grassy, but not enough to scare me away.


did you get any of the chocolate taste the description talks about?


no, but i have a pretty immature palate.

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I have recently been forcibly transplanted from Princeton, New Jersey to Burleson, Texas. I’ve been recovering from culture shock ever since. When I’m not dodging scorpions and pickup trucks, I’m a college student, drummer, lover of music and animals, Harry Potter freak, and a vegetarian. I just got a job at a bookstore, which is the perfect place for somebody like me.


Burleson, TX



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