639 Tasting Notes

drank Chestnut by Adagio Teas
639 tasting notes

Oh, wow! This smells amazing as it steeps! I received it as a free sample with my last Adagio purchase. It got mixed reviews here, so I had pretty low expectations. But this is great! It smells like chestnuts and cocoa and immediately made me think of Christmas!

Of course, then my officemates started saying, “Something’s burning! It smells like an electrical burn.” I told them I had just made tea, and they claimed it wasn’t coming from that. Then after I insisted they smell it, they started to think maybe it was the tea. Hahaha!

Well, no matter. I think this tea smells great! And not like electrical burning. The taste is very yum! It’s 100% authentic chestnut to me with a really lovely aftertaste. It’s naturally sweet and almost creamy without any additions. I’m also getting a hint of caramel. This is awesome! I highly recommend!

As I keep sipping it, I’m trying to figure out what others didn’t like. I might have pinpointed it. When I raise the cup to take a sip, I am kind of assailed by something off-putting. And I think the lovely chestnut flavor is most enjoyable in the aftertaste. This doesn’t bother me so much, but maybe it does others.

Still, I think this one is worth a shot. Plus, it was free for me, so I’m sure that’s also a contributing factor to my liking it. Who doesn’t love free tea? :)

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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drank English Teatime by Bigelow
639 tasting notes

I found this slightly battered tea bag at the bottom of my tea stash. I’m not really sure where it came from or how long I’ve had it. But it’s tea, so why not brew it?

As I poured the hot water over the bag, the tea bag filled up with an inordinant amount of air. Despite my best efforts, I could not completely submerge the bag. Weird.

The brewed tea doesn’t have much of an aroma. Perhaps it’s because it’s so old. The liquor is a deep, dark, opaque brown. I accidently added some sweetener before I tried it out of habit. So, I can’t comment on what this tastes like sans additions.

But I was actually pleasantly surprised by this tea! It’s very smooth and still quite flavorful. There’s not even a hint of bitterness or astringency. I think I added a tiny bit too much sweetener because it’s a bit tart. And I can’t imagine that’s from the tea leaves themselves.

I also almost always add milk to black tea. I usually find it either tannic or bitter. But this is great even without milk! That’s pretty impressive to me.

This is really quite good. My Twining’s English Breakfast may have a contender. Now I have to go pick up a box of this!

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Thai Chai by Adagio Teas
639 tasting notes

Ugh!! I can’t believe it! I wrote my Thai Chai tasting note and then accidently deleted it! AHHHHH!!!! You can never write the same thing again. It’s never exactly as it was. What a pain! Blurg! This sucks…now how to try and recoup my loss.

I made this tea two ways: a traditional Chai tea latte and a normal cup of tea. I’ve had limited Chai experiences, so there’s not a whole lot of things to compare it to. But this one still ranks pretty highly. It’s not my favorite. Adagio’s Spiced Apple Chai still claims that title.

It’s good though! Just not quite as spicy as I like. The lemongrass and coconut create a much sweeter, softer Chai. It’s a completely different experience. If you love Chai, I definitely recommend you try this one out.

The normally brewed tea tasted remarkably similar to the latte. I couldn’t distinguish much difference. That’s good and bad, in my opinion. Good because you don’t have to expend a lot of effort to make a great cup of tea. Bad because I did expend a lot of effort to make two different cups of tea and that effort was kind of wasted.

But overall, I enjoyed this. You know what? I didn’t like my first review anyway. This one’s better, right? Oh, how would you know. Whatever. Drink more tea!!!

Boiling 8 min or more

Argh…. I accidentally erased a review once… It is an awful feeling. At least you have good tea to make up for it! : )


Yeah, it’s always a pain. And I wrote it in a Word document first too. That’s what makes it so much more annoying. Oh well! Live and learn!

E Alexander Gerster

Who ever is blending Chai for Adagio really knows what they are doing to please the American palette. Each one I try is a really pleasurable experience, and their Chocolate Chai is a big hit around here… I love lemongrass and coconut so I might have to give this one a try! :)

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Many thanks to the very generous Mercuryhime who was so kind as to give me not only a sample of this tea, but an entire box full of tea samples! I can’t wait to try them all! This being the first of many, I picked a favorite and what’s sure to be a winner.

I wasn’t sure that a Bai Mu Dan existed that was much different than what I’ve tried in the past. I should have known that Andrews & Dunham would manage it.

This is delicious! It has that lovely hay and sunshine flavor of White Peony that I love, plus something extra. I’m not sure how to describe it. My first instinct says this is a greener version of Bai Mu Dan. But I think that might be understood differently than I intend it.

It’s honey-sweet with a bit of unexpected tart. Subsequent steeps yield floral, toasted pumpkin seed-esque, flavorful cups. It really is lovely. I’ve enjoyed this sample very much. Here’s how I brewed it:

170 degrees for 2.5 minutes
175 degrees for 4 minutes
175 degrees for 7 minutes
175 degrees for 14 minutes

No astringency. No bitterness. Just awesome. It’s too bad there’s not more of it. I could probably drink this every day. Thanks again to Mercuryhime for making this great experience possible!

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 30 sec

I’m only glad to be a source of your tea enjoyment. :)

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I’m playing Skyrim today, which means I’ve forgotten to eat or drink anything. I had a light lunch, so now it’s time for some tea!

I’m very excited to try this one! I was digging through my tea stash trying to figure out what I wanted. As I reached for the Teavivre boxes, I could have sworn that I had another plain green tea and here it is! The aroma of the dry leaves is heavenly. I know I’m going to love this one. Just sniffing the leaves is the confirmation that green tea was what I was craving.

The leaves are very interesting. Green curly little things with white tips. As others have mentioned, this tea reminds me of silver needle as well. There’s just a hint of dry hay and sunshine in the aroma that lingers like white tea.

I followed the steeping instructions on the package. The aroma of the brewed tea is…strange. It’s a subtle aroma, but it reminds me of something. Squash maybe? Or perhaps zucchini. Not what I was expecting from the dry leaf smell. EDIT: After 6 months more experience tasting teas, it turns out that subtle aroma is smoke! I usually detest smokey teas, but this one is subtle enough that it doesn’t bother me.

Mmmm, the taste is really good! It does taste remarkably similar to a white tea. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find much of a difference. I’m not detecting any green grassiness. That strange quality in the aroma (i.e. the smoke) has made its way into the taste. But it’s not off-putting, just unexpected. This is a complex cup of tea with layered, subtle flavors.

Long after the sip, there’s a hint of green tea grassiness. But not much, only a hint to remind me that this is a green tea and not a white. How interesting! This tea is just full of surprises. I highly recommend.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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drank Candy Apple by Adagio Teas
639 tasting notes

Like others, I received this tea as a free sample with my recent Adagio order. This tea is pretty average. I can’t taste much cinnamon, which I’m thankful for. I agree with others that cinnamon is not something found on a candy apple.

So, what do I taste? Mostly black tea and caramel. I’m not getting hardly any apple at all. In fact, I think any apple in this is wishful thinking on my part. There’s no bitterness I could find, but I did add a little skim milk.

It’s not a bad tea, but there’s something off about it. It’s either the black tea base or the heavy, cloyingly sweet, caramel flavor. It was nice to try, but it’s not something I would crave or buy.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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drank Peppermint by Adagio Teas
639 tasting notes

My rating of this blend: 93 out of 100.

As recommended by Ninavampi, I mixed 1.5 tsp of Vanilla Black Tea with 1.5 tsp of Peppermint and added boiling water. The result? Pure, luscious, minty, Christmas-y, candy cane tea!!!!!!

Oh, I just can’t wait to try this!!! After a three and a half minute steep, I’m ready to dig in! But I know I’ll regret it if I try to drink it too soon. I’ll burn off all my taste buds with scalding hot tea and then not be able to taste my beautiful new creation (or rather, Ninavampi’s creation).

Hurry up and cool! I went out to Target and picked up some Peppermint Oreos to go along with the tea. But I’m holding off eating those till I try the tea, which brings me back to my waiting dilemma. Why not wait until the tea cools off, try it, and then write this tasting note? Why, that would be too simple. And then you’d miss out on sharing in my impatience, which is part of the experience of this tea. :)

Finally! First sip. Mmmmmm!! Ninavampi was right on! This tastes EXACTLY like candy canes! I also find that adding a little bit of sweetener helps to take it from minty black tea to candy cane-ucopia. I’ve heard mixed reviews on a lot of Adagio’s new holiday blends (candy cane, cranberry, candy apple, etc). I almost bought a holiday sampler anyway because I really wanted some candy cane tea. But the reviews on this site stopped me. And I’m glad I didn’t waste my money! This tea is so spectacular, I don’t think it can be topped!

How come Adagio didn’t just put their vanilla and peppermint teas together, slap a candy cane tea label on it, and call it a day? Well, no matter. It’s 8:30 at night, and I’m drinking black tea anyway because this is just too good. It was calling me all day at work. “Come home and brew me!” Happy to oblige you, Tea. It’s my pleasure.

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

It sounds delicious!


MMMMM candy cane tea :)


I am happy you enjoyed it! : )
I tried the Adagio Christmas collection a year ago, and I didn’t like any of the blends… I was really sad because I really really wanted to like them.

This mix, is in my opinion, the best Candy Cane flavor I have gotten from a tea. I agree that Adagio could have managed a simpler and more delicious Candy Cane tea just by mixing ingredients that they already had! : )

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Since I just had Teavivre’s other jasmine tea yesterday, I’m going to compare the two.

First impression, yum! These are quite similar teas, but I’m detecting a heavier sweetness to these pearls. The jasmine is again very nice and very well executed, but the pearls seem a little less floral than the Mo Li Yin Hao. The green tea is also more absent.

With both teas, I started out with a 1.5 minute steep and increased subsequent steeps by 30 seconds. They both held up to multiple infusions equally well. However, I am detecting a tad more astringency. I remember the Mo Li Yin Hao getting astringent at the end of the third cup. But the astringency appeared in the pearls halfway through the first cup.

I don’t want to be too critical. It’s still a delicious cup of tea. I think I just prefer the other one. The Mo Li Yin Hao was just so perfectly balanced. Still, this tea wins out on cuteness.

How adorable are these little tiny pearls??! I’ve never had jasmine pearls before, so I’m glad I finally got to see what all the hype is about. They’re much smaller than I expected, but they unfurl really beautifully. I’m not sure what pearls have to do with dragons though…Perhaps they hoard them?

Overall, a very nice tea experience tonight. Very relaxing after an incredibly stressful couple of days.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

Hope your days become less stressful! : )


Thank you! They already have. Sometimes life gets you down, but that’s why God made tea. :)


Jasmine pearls are…God’s gift. ;) I love, love, love them – alone or in blends.

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Mmmmmmm!!! This is an incredible jasmine!!! Just the right amount of floral with a green tea aftertaste. The green tea comes out more as it cools. This just might be the most perfect jasmine tea in the world!

The aroma of the dry leaves is awesome. The leaves are dark, wavy, and ultra skinny. This tastes a lot like what you get in good Chinese restaurants, except better.

The last time I had a tea like this, it was an unnamed Jasmine at a Thai restaurant. It was soooo good, but they left the tea leaves loose in the teapot. So 10-15 minutes in, my fantastic tea experience was sullied with overwhelming bitterness. This is that tea minus the bitter. Just plain deliciousness!

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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The last of my samples of old 52teas blends via iHeartTeas. Like the others, this one has lost most of its added flavors with time. It mostly tastes like a cinnamon black tea. It does taste faintly like a snickerdoodle, but that could be just because I want it to. It’s fairly tannic and not the most enjoyable black tea base I’ve had. But I don’t fault 52teas.

Freshness is paramount with all edible things, so I should not have expected tea to be any different. Alas, so much for thinking I’d get to try out some retired teas. And I thought I was being really clever and sneaky too. :P

Boiling 3 min, 30 sec

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Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!

My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.

I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).


Maryland, USA

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