154 Tasting Notes


Second time trying this. The first time was months ago so any bias I had is gone.
First sip was nice and it did seem sweet and fruity and then it begins this descent into bitterness. Something about the way the flavoring agents interact make this tea work while hot… and degrade continually over time. Through the bitter buttery green tea flavor makes it through which is nice… except for the growing bitter.

The more I sip I think that the tea is astringent for a green which might be compounding the bitter problem. Did I mention it’s a little bitter?

Weird note:
Look at the infuser before you put it in the cup gauging how much the leaves are filling the infuser…. and then notice how much the leaves expand by the time it is done brewing… just wow. Greens I haven’t really ever noticed expanding like that as this reminds my of an Oolong amount of growth. NEAT!

I’m brewing a second cup for less time to see if it will be less bitter in the end with cooler water and shorter steep time…
And it remains bitter. The taste isn’t I burned my tea bitter though it is more of a citrus acid as a flavoring agent bitter. An orange that hasn’t hit ripe so it has that super acidy bitterness.

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Seems that Tea Forte has a unique design with their tea bags, but the tea themselves aren’t great.

Madison Bartholemew

that’s the horrible I’ve found a couple blacks that I can adore…. but in the loose leaf canisters! the infusers are just a marketing ploy and a disgrace to flavor

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I’m convinced that whoever writes the tea forte descriptions has never tried the tea but is instead given an ingredient list.

Sweet orange spice… tastes like vienna cinnamon without the flavor boom. So there is definitely something mellowing out the cinnamon but orange isn’t an obvious flavor in the profile. Actually I thought this was an illusion to it being orange pekoe grade. Not that this tea had any orange flavor in it. So when I was confused by the game called "what is that tiny little flavor in the back over there somewhere? I’ll just look at the box… " I was super shocked to see that this is an “orange” flavored tea. When it’s cold you can taste the orange if you are looking for it in the cup. But it’s barely there.

Really I thought it was just a cinnamon maybe with a dash of some other spice (cough you know spice tea should have more than just one spice in it cough) like maybe a granule of nutmeg or clove or something. But no. It’s vienna cinnamon toned down by a molecule of orange oil.

A little bit of sugar brings out the flavor… but milk doesn’t really help it out. And milk with no sugar wasn’t very pleasant. So just a little sugar makes it nice. This is really a pleasant tea as I like cinnamon but it’s not named well and that tends to piss me off. If you like Tea Forte’s Vienna Cinnamon and you are at a party and they have this you will enjoy drinking it.

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Preliminary report… DO NOT OVER SWEETEN!
It’s really easy to because the blend by itself has so many sweet fruits in it. I really suggest brewing this plain and then adding sugar crystal by crystal.
THAT’s how sensitive it is


There aren’t many teas I won’t try but this would be one of those teas ONLY because I hate bananas! I do hope others enjoy it tho! :P

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Plain and delicious.
Did I mention plain?

This is a well done standard green. The name chunmee sounds Chinese to me and they do not list in the tea description but this tea can be found on the Chinese category through the main menu… so I’m pretty sure I’m right. Which leads to the point of me pointing out that the name sounds Chinese… Picture if you will a Chinese Dragonwell type tea that mated with a Japanese Sencha and you can imagine the results I’m getting from the leaves.

The ‘green’ vegie flavor is totally there but it is not strong. That is amazingly pleasant cause the grassy teas are not my favorite. What is mellowing the flavor out is more of the toasty green tea flavor than the sweet end so you end up with a nutty follow up to the grassy and a present sweetness that kinda lasts through the whole flavor experience. (I need to turn that into an amusement park ride…)

The only thing that I need to clarify about the flavor is that the toasty has a smokey tinge to it… sometimes. Nope I can’t explain why…. and trust me I’ve fooled around with it a bunch and I will explain to you exactly what I mean.

I have gone through about 2 oz of this tea. The smell through the first half of the bag seemed smokier to me than the tea in the last half of the bag. The first couple of cups tasted smokier toasty… shifting into just normal toasty with the occasional hint of smoke. And the last weird thing is that the last scoop in the bag has an almost acidic (not bad like a lemon smells… and not like a orange… and not like the tea has gone bad but like ripe tomato/orange pepper kinda acidic) tinge to it. The best way I can succinctly describe it is ripe veggie and the last half of the bag has seemed more vegital to me.

I THINK this means one of two possibilities:
1. This tea is way more sensitive than normal to storing conditions… meaning in the cool dry closet… in the original bag placed in a tin by itself… where the tea has only been used on plain green teas IS NOT ENOUGH PROTECTION. And really that would be ridiculous as I have never ever even heard of a tea going bad or stale in 3 weeks anyways. Beyond me being anal with teas I’m trying. You get the point…. ridiculous.

2. This tea has a lot of nuance and character and you will discover more layers as you drink more of it and experience this tea.

I like the idea of number two and hope someone someday can discus this tea with me and compare notes.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec

It is indeed chinese. It means something like Precious Eyebrows because of the way the leaves are twisted that supposedly looks like delicate eyebrows or some such (I can’t really see the similarity myself.) I’ve got a chun mee myself, but not the same brand, and I really like it. It’s turned into something of a green favourite for me, so I’m glad you liked it too. :)


I haven’t had a Chun Mee in a long time. I do remember it tasting slightly more vegetal than other Chinese teas, though.

Madison Bartholemew

oohhh fantastic I’m not going crazy!

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I had the pleasure of trying this tea first in the Zoomdweebies shop in KS and it is delicious when they make it into a tea latte!

They have the tea latte recipe available so I don’t think I’m giving away anything when I say I went home and tried it on my own with sweetened condensed milk and that is the crux of their tea latte recipe.

With the full tea latte recipe the latte feels lighter than a normal Sbux tea latte and the flavor of the tea seems more developed too. Wow can Frank brew… trust me I had two!

At home making the full amount of latte mix is nice but then you feel the need to drink the whole thing… which ends up being a party type amount…. not I want a bit of tea now amount… so I tried this tea just adding the sweetened condensed milk and boy is that yummy. Actually I’ve discovered that sweetened condensed milk is FANTASTIC with a lot of different dessert type tea and I really suggest playing around with it as a tea modifier. The only flavor I don’t think it works well with so far is chocolate…. but I’ll be experimenting more with that later…

Using normal tea condiments I find that I am using more sugar than I usually do to try to mimick the tea latte flavor. Unfortunately I think I’m walking into this tea biased having had my first taste of it with the tea latte instead of my normal experimenting. I’m finding that three teaspoons of sugar in a two teaspoon of tea pot is the right ratio to about even up the flavor with what I was expecting and then of course some milk.

The tea base is a little astringent tasting if you don’t add enough sugar which is something I have not noticed with the other 52 teas blends so I’m probably again biased because of the tea latte.

Coconut is present and lightly awesome. Not over bearing or a punch in the face and it is accented well with the vanilla creamy flavor. This is a tea that I’m not enjoying with out milk as it seems to lose a depth without it and I also can’t enjoy this one with just milk and no sugar. Again it seems to lose a level without using both. Actually without sugar it almost has a woody black tea quality. Not smokey woody but that potato starchy woody round flavor. Interesting but I’m spoiled with this tea now and only want it light and sweet.

I’m happy this is a permanently available tea. I know that seems to go against the 52teas mantra but this one is that banging good… especially as a tea latte.

Boiling 4 min, 15 sec

Glad you enjoy it! Reading all these 52teas tasting notes makes me wish my mandarin matcha would hurry up and get here.:(

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The dry leaves smell different to me than other dragon wells. I usually notice a papery smell but this particular blend smells vegital. I didn’t think that was possible because I didn’t think dried veggies could possibly retain the green smell and I still don’t think actual food can but these dry tea leaves do.
The vegital smell in the dry leaves disappears with steeping leaving toasty and sweet broth with no detectable spinach type flavors which I had been expecting because of the smell. This is an extremely light tea and I will experiment with longer steep times to see where the over steeping point is and how robust the flavor can become.
Mouth feel is more on the dry and airy side. This does not feel like a robust tea on this steep but again I will experiment with long steep times to try to pull the robustness out.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

This doesn’t look like DragonWell to me either!

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This tea feels so complex… let’s start at the beginning.
The leaves smell odd. It kinda reminds me of the mintiness of tooth paste and pinesol. Or a minty Christmas tree… But luckily the brew smells lighter and sweeter than that. Cause that wasn’t the most pleasant thing I’ve ever stuck my nose into.
The brew is a nice light amber. If you can’t tell I’m nervous about this one mostly cause I don’t like spearmint.
And taste… This is where they pull the rug out from under you. There is some kind of crazy undertone of vanilla or cream or something. I believe this is due to the champagne portion of the flavoring and champagne is an amorphous enough of a flavor that it has to be blamed for the creaminess and some kind of sparkly tingle flavor. Weird/NEAT!
On top of that is a light amount of lime. The lime seems like the binding flavor as it is there but everything else radiates around it. Really it’s like a lime cream soda. Delicious.
And somewhere sitting in its own little dark corner (yea! it’s not prominent!) is the spearmint. The rest of the flavors are very bright so I agree that a darker flavor in the blend is good and necessary to provide the bottom of the blend and let the other flavors spring board off of it. It’s not over powering but as my tea is cooling off it is masking the other flavors a little more. This is where the crazy interplay of flavors come in… mint and champagne must equal “sparkly”! I don’t know how they thought that up but it works with the spearmint flavor coming out so late in the game that you really register sparkles before mint.
After almost finishing my 2 oz. I feel that the interesting points in the blend are a little too much. Cup one is all about discovering and as you can see there is a lot to discover and experience… and then cup after cup you kinda get used to it and the excitement goes away and you’re left with a very complicated tea that you’ve picked a prodded at so it has lost its shine. I really wish each cup brought about the same excitement but… I guess it doesn’t have any staying power for me.
I think 2 oz. for a party where many people will get to experience something new in exciting is a great idea for this tea… but for personal everyday drinking it’s not staying wonderful.

165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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First… this is the only black tea I can drink without milk and be completely happy while doing it. In addition this is the only tea that says it has a subtle honey like flavor and I can really taste it along with the promise of it being smooth actually being true. So this review is starting out pretty well…

But really… the second steep is the best with all of the tannin taste being absorbed by the first steeping. So for the first steeping I usually add just a teaspoon of sugar in the pot but in the subsequent steeps I don’t think the rest of the steeps need that.

Sugar fixes all of the bitterness and makes this blend extremely enjoyable. So if you are looking for a plain black tea I think this one is the best. If I find a better one I will be extremely surprised.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Yes I like this one as well! It’s pretty smooth and a very enjoyable flavor. I take mine black but steep 2 min. and the tannins haven’t had much of a chance to come out, resulting in little bitterness. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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Taken Plain.
Usually Golden Moon never ever misses with me. I can open up anything they send and adore it absolutely. Not this one. It is a very nice scented green but I have had better. I’ve had a TON worse and this is in no way a bad tea… but Ive had better. I’m just disappointed that this isn’t as good as the vast majority of their other teas.

What I was looking for was a deep toasted green base to add depth paired with the bright floral notes extending down into the base to pull it up into the light. The green tea feels like it is living up to my expectations but the jasmine seems to be the part falling short. It seems almost two dimensional and weak next to the base. Not weak as if you couldn’t taste it but weak like brittle. It does not have depth into the lower notes of jasmine flavor that would add richness to the blend and a more full mouth feel.

It’s ok. It is what they promise but I know that they can do better because they usually do. If you are looking for a light, pleasant and unoffensive Jasmine blend definitely give this one a shot. If you are like me and you want to be dazzled by new, bold and exciting flavors you might think this one is too calm.

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Belly/Burlesque Dancer… knitter… scientist… tea drinker.
Go figure… I don’t get it either.


Somerville, NJ



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