865 Tasting Notes

drank Candy Cane by Adagio Teas
865 tasting notes

Love the variety of flavors in the sampler, love the tins, hate that they’re bags. Decided to make this in latte form- 2 bags, 8oz water, steeped 7min 40 sec., added 8oz milk and reheated.

Before I add the milk, I admit the tea itself looks kinda scary… I steeped it so conentrated for long that there’s a ring of tea schtuff around the water line. I can’t imagine what it would look like if I made it concentrated enough for a gallon of tea…

Once I add the milk, it looks much more normal. Kinda like chocolate milk actually. Not a whole lot of aroma (due to the milk I’m sure), but I am getting a faint wiff of mint.

WHOA This is abso-freakin-lutely amazing! The candy cane is much lighter than I expected, but there is definitely a minty flavor as well as a sweetness. I doubt this would need any sugar even if you normally sweeten your tea lattes. And the black tea base… almost gives it a chocolatey quality… which is good cuz I like my candy cane/mint best when mixed w/ chocolate. Not something that screams “THIS IS TEA!” …but INCREDIBLY good. …and don’t be scared by the steeping time I used, it definitely needs it.

205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 45 sec

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FINALLY reviewing this! There are several reasons it took me so long. For one, I didn’t order any so I had to wait til I got to WA. 2nd, I wanted to make sure we had enough (ended up NOT being a problem… there was 3/2 pounds and we didn’t even use half of it lol) 3rd, after seeing and smelling that much of one tea I needed a break. 4th, I really wasn’t in a location to have good control on my water til I got home. 5th, I’ve been suffering serious jet lag/post vacation depression and just not feeling well in general since getting home on Tues. And last- the Beckners get home from their honeymoon tonight so I thought it would be good to save it and celebrate:)

Ok… on to the tea. Served as packaged: 1tsp/teabag (there were 2/favor) plus one honeystick (again, 2/favor)

The tea itself is, as someone said, very Christmasy in appearance. The aroma; however, is off. Almost… potpouri-ish…? But that could be just from smelling such a large amount of it.

When people think “white chai” most automatically assume the spices will overwelm the tea… but from the appearance of the steeped liquor, I doubt that will be the problem. The aroma is of apple and vanilla and a darker and more dull brown than I expected. The flavor is much like the aroma. The apple hits me first. It’s; however, the most authentic apple flavor I’ve encountered w/o it being candy-ish. The vanilla lends a sweetness that isn’t artificial either. The added honey makes it a bit too sweet for me. Honey is one of those flavors that I only like as an added flavor in tea. (Anyone else have flavors like that, or is it just me?). Unfortunately the best things I can say about the spices is that they prevent the tea from being bland. The base (specifically the shou mei I’m thinking) prevent this from tasting like an apple chai or even an apple cider tea. I’m rating this pretty low, but I think I might be able to boost the rating if I had more to tinker w/. I need to e-mail Irina and see what happened to the rest of the tea. Hopefully she can send me some. I’m just not satisfied at how unsatisfied I am w/ this yet.

140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Tall NF NC NW +2M +2P GLT w/ Whip + choc sprinkles… or so my cup says. In other words: tall non fat no classic no water 2 pump mocha 2 pump pepermint green tea latte w/ whip and chocolate sprinkles. I’ve actually had 3 of them since Sunday… yay! One of the girls I stayed w/ this week is a barista so she even made me one free. She tried it (due to allergies, the soy version), but said it was too sweet. But then again the soy milk is sweeter and she doesn’t even do mochas.

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drank Jasmine Pearl by Rishi Tea
865 tasting notes

2nd infusion… due to the short steeping, no need to increase the steeping time.

140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 15 sec

3rd infusion… no change in steeping parameters.


4th… ditto.


5th… getting stronger:)

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drank Jasmine Pearl by Rishi Tea
865 tasting notes

Ok, I said I’d post a tasting note, so here it goes!

I love jasmine teas… but when it comes to pearls I like them cool, light, and short. Light on leaf, cool water, and short steeping times.

1 tsp/140 degree water (8oz)/10 sec.

The result is an extremely light liquored cuppa that still has lots of floral flavor, a light tea base, and is not only smooth and crisp- but also thirst quenching! I personally do not find hot beverages thirst quenching and probably could count the times I’ve thought that on one hand if this isn’t the 1st. The only bad thing I can say about this tea is that you get so many infusions you’re likely to waste them because you want to move on to another tea.

If you haven’t caved on Rishi’s sale today, you should.

140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Ross Duff

love it… but never get all the steeps out of it.


I don’t think you can… it just keeps going and going! If jasmine is your daily tea, it’s definitely a great organic and economical choice.

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drank Cranberry Matcha by 52teas
865 tasting notes

Got a text from my friend Helen yesterday afternoon asking if I wanted to go to an Asian vegan dinner night w/ some of her friends. I like my poultry as well as dairy products so I’ve never had a completely vegetarian, much less vegan, meal but I decided to jump in. My head started to spin… I was still in my pjs and needed to be completely ready in 2 hrs… what to bring? I didn’t have means or even the time to go grocery shopping… Tea! So I went to my tea stash trying to figure out what to bring. Didn’t want tea bags (didn’t have any anyway). I have no paper filters. That means I need to take my ingenuity. But I didn’t want to limit everyone to once choice and I didn’t want to dump leaves after just one use to give people a choice… hmmm… Then It hit me. DUH! This is asian night! Matcha! I brought all the matcha I have Lupicia’s, and 52teas cranberry, strawberry, apple, banana, and mandarin. Yes it went with the theme, but I admit I was nervous about bringing matcha. I bring tea to EVERY party I go to and mostly it gets left un touched. I admit that I take that more personally than I really should and matcha is even more off the wall than your average tea so my worries increased. Luckily, this is a very amazing and unusual conglomeration of people and the matcha went over REALLY well! I’m not sure what everyone had, but I heard cranberry and mandarin a couple times- a couple of the guys even had 2 mugs! The preparation was less than authentic- 1tsp in 8oz of hot water served in coffee mugs… but some of us did stir the matcha w/ chop sticks instead of a western utensil so I think that made up for it. I had the cranberry which is why I’m logging it here. Oh, and the food was wonderful and I didn’t leave hungry- it definitely wasn’t a “here, have a salad” type of night!

Sarah Ruthven

Sounds like a fun night. So I want to get into Matcha but I really don’t know how to pick a good one? Honestly I did not even know it could be flavored until reading this? What do you look for or hoep to taste in a good Matcha?


If it’s unflavored the color of the powder should be bright green- the brighter the color, the brighter the flavor. The flavor of the matcha itself in Frank’s blends is more subdued, but are AMAZING! I very strongly suggest picking up one of each before they are sold out and gone forever. I also suggest looking for the words “organic” and “ceremonial grade”. I love all the matcha’s from Den’s tea (I even got my matcha set from them)… all their offerings are amazing though!

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drank Mayan Chocolate Chai by 52teas
865 tasting notes

It’s been forever since I had this sans milk/creamer, but I’m not feeling well so I decided to add a tsp of rum extract. Whoa, I forgot how spicy this is. The rum extract doesn’t deter from it, but does add an extra layer of flavor. Very good! I just wish I could find a good rum flavored syrup.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 15 sec

If you find a good rum flavored syrup, let me know. I’ve been searching for one as well.

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Mom takes these to work- she’s the manager of a retail store that was not left in good condition by the previous manager (hence why she has the job) and isn’t given enough pay roll hours to get everything done so she barely has time to drink tea much less make any- even bagged. I added 2tsp of matcha to this in attempt to make it taste better.

Wow. Still INSANELY sweet. The flavor profile is nice and fresh and sweet (in a good, natural fruity kinda way)- but it’s too over the top. I get really frustrated when sweetener (even a natural and calorie free one like stevia- although that’s the lesser of evils) ruins an otherwise wonderful tea. But that’s just me. If you like sweet teas, consider using these to flavor matchas… not sure how they’d work hot though… may need to experiment w/ that…

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Tried to make a s’more latTEA by using 1 1/4 TB leaf, 1 cup each Fat Free Smart Balance milk and water, and 2TB marshmellow mocha creamer. I love my s’mores ozzing chocolate, but for a drink this was really good inspite of a pretty weak chocolate flavor. The nuts and spices of the tea really bring out the toastyness of the marshmellow and even a graham cracker type taste. It’s REALLY good.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec

Yup, have got to get me some of this.

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Sample 2/7

Wow! This hasn’t even been put in the data base til now. I’m really getting anxious for my December vacation for my best friend’s wedding (37 days!) so I reached for this for my daily milk consumption.

The dry leaf smells very strongly of spice and just a hint of fruitiness.

16oz cuppa: 2.5tsp, 8oz water, 8oz Smart Balance Milk

Ok… I’m worried. I steeped in in only half the total liquid it calls for and the liquor is really light. Here goes nothing.

Yummm! What a wonderful suprise! I love how my brain works though. My immediate reaction when I took my 1st sip was “Hmm… it’s like a nutty, spicy, hot egg nog without the eggyness”. Anyway, it’s insanely good. It’s not chai like, but I could see myself switching to this for the month of December. And the orange is light enough that it does NOT taste like a hot creamsicle which is a major plus for me. I’ll wait to rate it til I try it clean.

205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Meghann M

oooh, a tea you might switch to? I’ve got to try this one! And hot egg nog like drink without the eggyness? This is going on my wishlist for sure!!!

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

This sounds very good and right up my alley.


This sounds delicious! And I know that hot creamsicle flavor you are talking about – don’t know why orange teas seem to fall into that.


lol! Yes, I may switch,but ONLY around Christmas time (don’t worry Frank)

RachanaC, this prep definitely gets a 100- it even has a different texture. It’s amazing

Caitlin it’s cuz orange+ milk= creamsicle so of course it would be a hot creamsicle. I love Market Spice chai (mainly cuz it’s a Seattle blend, not so much for the actual flavor), but I just can’t bring myself to add milk to it.


I’ll be getting some of this one with my next order!

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Are you a company or tea blender on sites like Adagio that would you like your tea reviewed? If so, please e-mail me @ [email protected].

What I most enjoy from obtaining samples from companies to review is that it helps me to better learn to drink and review teas from a more objective perspective, meaning more of the “This tea is…” point of view rather than the “I like/don’t like” this tea. I feel objectivism in tea reviews is EXTREMELY important because no two tea drinkers tastes are exactly the same. I’ve also been extremely surprised by several teas. I love recieving a sample I think I will be only writing an objective review on, only to completely fall in love with it upon tasting it.

Are you interested in redoing or starting your own tea related website or adding Search Engine Optimization? If so, please contact me at my work e-mail address: [email protected]

Tea tastes:
I will ALWAYS pick loose leaf over tea bags. I only drink bagged tea if that’s my only choice or I find a flavor that I can’t find a loose leaf version for. When I do drink bagged; however, I always weigh my bag and am constantly curious as to the weight/flavor ratio- sometimes I am quite surprised by the flavor punch of light bags.

I have a preference for organic and fair trade teas (preferably both), but would never pass up an amzing tea just because it isn’t organic and/or fair trade.

I love savory teas.

I’m currently searching for a chai flavored soy powder or a soy based chai mix (either already mixed or a recipe).

I hardly EVER sweeten my teas. I feel that sweeteners (unless flavored like tea honeys, brown sugar, ice cream topping syrups, flavored coffee syrups, etc) do not add anything to the flavor profile of tea- in fact, I’ve found that they dumb down the flavors.

I NEVER serve my tea over regular iced cubes- I always make tea cubes.

I LOVE cooking w/ tea and making smoothTEAS.

I LOVE tea blending.

I rarely drink herbal teas unless they are mixed with true teas. My favorite herbals to mix with true teas are: spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, rose hips, and gingeroot.

I can’t stand anything w/ fennel or anise. Hot black teas (except orange pekoe bagged tea that you get when you go out to eat and chai teas) tend to upset my stomach.

I drink matcha daily and love flavoring it. I’m also in a constant search of preflavored matchas.

I’m constantly searching for information on how to prepare tea authentically according to its country of origin.

My Tasting Notes Ratings (edited 8/8/10)
1: I can’t even stand the raw leaf enough to make this (I’ve never owned a tea w/ this rating, but I’ve smelled some before buying resulting in me NOT buying them that were that bad)

2: I steeped this tea but couldn’t stand the aroma enough to get it past my nose

3: I immediately gagged at the 1st sip and spit it out.

4: I manageed to get the 1st sip down, but I tossed the rest.

5: I drank the 1st cup but I can’t bring myself to resteep

6: Made it thru the entire set of infusions but I can’t bring myself to tinker w/ the parameters and won’t be making it again.

7-10: Does not taste anything like the ingredients or name suggests (i.e. Adagio’s Sour apple)

11-25: I can taste some of the ingredients, but the flavor is severely lacking

25-49: Teas that I would not consider bad in their flavor profile, but certainly below average

50: Average.

51-69: Teas above averge, but I wouldn’t go as far as calling them “good”.

70-75: Very good, but still room for improvement

76-85: Above average flavor profile

86-90: REALLY good flavors

91-99: Almost PERFECTLY achieves the goal of the ingredients and name of the tea.

100: Abosolutely perfect teas!

Other Interests: GOD! and all things pertaining to Him and His children, my dog Madison, travelling, and coffee.

Favorite Music: ANYTHING Christian. I don’t normally listen to secular music, but I do love jazz and swing.

Favorite Movies: Romantic comedies mostly. My Sister’s Keeper, P.S. I Love You, Fireproof, National Treasure Trilogy (I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE 3rd ONE TO COME OUT!), Night at the Museum 1 & 2, Sister Act 1 & 2, Yes Man, Bruce & Evan Almighty, rarely watch animated movies but LOVE anything 3D.

Favorite Books: THE BIBLE!!! & My Sister’s Keeper

Favorite Quotes: “A sad soul can kill you far quicker than a germ”- John Stienbeck "

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing”- Aristotle

“You should always carry burdens, but they should never be your own”- me

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Mom was right, ‘because I say so’ is enough- at least when it comes to God.”- me

Favorite Foods: fried calamari, lemon chicken, anything w/ buffalo sauce.

Favorite Places: WA state, Switzerland, Orlando

Places I Want to Visit: Hawaii, Africa

Anything Else: I was born with a birth defect called Spina Bifida which is the failure of the spinal column to close en utero. Because of this I am a parapelegic and use a manual wheelchair.


Oshkosh, WI



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