127 Tasting Notes


Finishing up my sample of this because today I am LAZY and it’s instant. How’s that for horrible?

It’s more ginger-root than gingerbread, but otherwise okay. I’m not planning to reorder it, though. I like how easy it is to have chai at work, so I may order some of their other flavors (their cocoa is really good, too). That wouldn’t violate my tea restriction, would it?

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drank Mandarin Matcha by 52teas
127 tasting notes

Whoops… forgot to log this one.

From the tasting notes I expected a lot more orange flavor, but (again) my taste buds seem to be dull to “flavorings” and the orange sections didn’t add much. I got almost entirely matcha and a slight aftertaste of orange.

Plain matcha is okay if it’s what I’m in the mood for, but that day I wasn’t, so my husband finished that cup (he liked it alright, though I think he picked up the orange more strongly than I did and he thinks flavored matcha is WEIRD).

He makes good chocolate truffles rolled in matcha, so I’d love to have that done with this. Hmm….

Preparation details: 1 tsp in 8 oz hot water, frothed by electric whisk.


Mandarin Matcha Truffles w/ Mandarin Matcha drinking chocolate… my taste buds would be thrilled, but w/ all the caffeine I wouldn’t sleep for a week! You should post the recipe in the cooking w/ tea thread and let us know what you think of them:)


Okay, your husband is like my dream man—likes tea and MAKES CHOCOLATE. Notice the caps in the second part of that sentence.


He doesn’t do it often because he says they’re a PitA, but maybe having some new matcha will inspire him???

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drank Holiday Chai by Stash Tea
127 tasting notes

Made in the traditional manner. A bit weak, even though it simmered on the stove for over 10 minutes. Not bad, but not noteworthy.


I wish I’d had a 2nd bag. I like to try my chais both plain and w/ milk.

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More a review of the triniTEA than this particular tea blend…

The bitterness from the last brew totally covered up the taste of PLASTIC! Yuck! I wrote to Adagio to see what they would say, but it’s totally undrinkable (IMO).


Yuck, that’s always the problem with plastic.


Must be the type of plastic used because we didn’t have a problem with the Zarafina, and it’s plastic, too. sigh


Just wondering, is there a reason you switched from the Zarafina to the triniTEA? I was considering doing that, until I realized that it only has two temperature settings (whereas the Zarafina has multiple, I think…)


Shanti, we wanted a second tea maker and so we picked up the triniTEA for things like this SSB that we make in quantity. Also, so when my husband and I BOTH want tea we don’t have to wait for the other one, or dump out the other one’s leaves (which might still be okay for resteeping). So, we’re still using the Zarafina!


Er, that should be SST, for Southern Sweet Tea. sigh

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I made the first cup in the Zarafina, so I’m not sure how long it brewed for. It was very light and tasted slightly of apples. Okay, but mildly disappointing. I’ll probably try in the triniTEA next time so I can make sure it gets the full recommended 8 minutes to brew.

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(I’m drinking the bagged version of this tea)

All of those bad things I’ve said about “flavors”? I’m not sure if it’s because it’s green tea or because it’s Lupicia, but they don’t apply to this cup (or the other Lupicia green flavored teas I’ve had). The ingredients list on this one is “green tea, flavors”. I still like it.

Their brewing instructions are also NOT BRILLIANT and say to use boiling water. Haha, NO. Also “put the lid on while brewing for better tasting tea” which I’ve never heard before. My mug does have a lid (somewhere?) but in the office I usually just take small sips until I think it’s ready. I don’t have a timer.

I’m trying to break myself of the sweetener habit, at least with the greens, because I know it’s WRONG, so there’s less apple flavor and more grass flavor than what I generally get with this tea. The first taste (and scent) is grassy green flavor and the after taste is of mild apples. The longer it brews the more the apple disappears.

190 °F / 87 °C

I think it’s Lupicia.


Lupicia rocks with the flavorings (most of the time).


Don’t get me wrong, the flavoring is amazing. It’s just too light for me. Then again if it were any stronger, I think it would taste like Adagio and I’d be like yuck!

Robert Godden

Don’t beat yourself up over the sweetener. It can help bring out the flavour for your particular palate. By changing to powdered sweetener, I’ve managed to cut down to “just enough” and really enjoy my tea. “Just enough” is about 1/3 sachet per cup for me


You can use http://steep.it/ for a tea timer when you’re at work. It’s simple & free.

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drank Sour Apple by Adagio Teas
127 tasting notes


Enjoyed this last night with some honey-toast as a snack before taking the cats to the vet. They have to go on a diet plan – they are tubby!

I think the tart and sweet are well balanced in this tea. It’s well done.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

I also have a cat on a diet plan. He came to me at 28lbs, a very tubby cat. He’s down to a svelte 20lbs and still dieting. The vet wants him around 16-17lbs. He’s a large cat physically even without the weight.


WOW, that’s a BIG cat! :-) Reminds me of a cat we met at a fosters… she laid down and created a puddle of cat.

Mine are currently 13 and 10, they need to loose about 2 lbs each and then we’ll reassess.

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drank Mango and Yogurt by TeaFrog
127 tasting notes

Bleh. I’d call this hibiscus and yogurt rather than mango and yogurt. The taste is hibiscus, yogurt, then random fruit mixture. Not something I want to drink again, but I did finish the cup.

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Tastes mostly like spices. There’s a hint of apples in the back, but not much. I’m going to try mixing it with Adagio’s sour apple next and see if I get more of a “apple cider” taste (but probably not, since that would add hibiscus… but that’s the only apple that I have).

It’s not bad, but not outstanding.

(and now I think I’m all caught up)


I’ve had the sour apple not mixed w/ anything and I think you’re gonna get a spiced cranapple, strong emphasis on the cran…:( I think something like UTI’s Turkish Apple mught be better. But then again I could be wrong. Let us know how it turns out:)


That might work, since it’s apple chunks and not tea flavored with apple (which is what I think is the problem with SBS’s tea… my tastebuds don’t work well with ‘flavorings’). Thanks for the suggestion.


I love the theory of a caramel spiced apple tea, but I haven’t found any tea that comes close to my expectations so I think I’m gonna make my own blend of Bontanical Indulgence’s Creme Caramel oolong, UTI’s Turkish Apple, and Culinary Teas’ Chai spice mix:)

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So… we bought Adagio’s triniTEA (automatic tea brewer) to supplement the Zarafina. It was getting crazy with waiting for the other person’s tea to finish brewing and for resteeps, what do you do with the leaves, and so on. We thought that the increased capacity of the triniTEA would be nice for making large pitchers of iced tea, as well.

The first batch didn’t go so well. We’ll ignore the machine’s faults and just talk about the tea… Nathaniel followed the instructions that came with the machine and not the instructions that came with the tea, so he put the timing knob on 5 minutes (Teavana says to brew the English Breakfast for 2-3 minutes and the Lemon Youkou for 5-6 minutes, but we usually just brew it as a black tea). The result was BITTER and had no lemon taste. UGH. It was totally overbrewed.

Not the tea’s fault, or the machine, really. We have to do another run with a shorter time.
(I’m leaving the rating where it is because when brewed right this tea is really good)


i received a zarafina for christmas and i love it (mostly). just wish it held more than 2 cups. do you like the triniTEA better?


We’ve only used it the once so far (and that was a bust because of the wrong brew time). There are advantages and disadvantages to both machines, so I think having both is okay.

There are only 2 temperature settings on the triniTEA, but I believe there are more on the Zarafina. The Zarafina is kinda black box, though (I don’t know what the various setting correspond to in time and temperature). The greater capacity of the triniTEA is nice if the hubby and I want to drink the same thing (not often), or we’re making a pitcher to stick in the fridge (often).

They both limit the volume that the leaves can expand into (unlike the gravity pots), and that’s annoying.

Also, somehow my husband put too much water into the triniTEA and it overfilled the brew basket, making a big mess. I’m not sure how that happened, but it’s not foolproof.

He also complained that the carafe doesn’t pour easily and spills.

I think it’ll be worth it once we get used to its quirks (especially since having only one teamaker was getting ANNOYING!).


There are 5 different setting with the Zarafina…which is pretty cool. I wish I knew the minutes that mild, medium, and strong correlated to. Also, no warmer with the Z. We also have an electric kettle, so I make my husband use that a lot of the time for his basic Earl Gray and such. :)


Well, there are 5 different tea type settings, but I’m not sure if they correspond to temperatures… there may only be 2 or 3 temperatures and then a few brew times. That’s what I mean about it being black box… there’s no real explaination about what the settings correspond to!

Also, I’ve always thought that you should vary the strength by changing the amount of leaves, not the brew time, so the “mild, medium, and strong” settings totally baffle me. I leave it on medium all of the time, but Nathaniel switches it to strong for his sweet tea. IDK.

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Engineer. Lives with her cats and husband. Likes fruity tisanes most of all, but willing to try anything.


southern Maryland

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