54 Tasting Notes

drank Sakurambo by Lupicia
54 tasting notes

I’m not a particular fan of strong, almost-chemically induced, fruit blends. But there are exceptions that are done well. I gave Lupicia’s Sakurambo a try because it’s a black tea blend versus the green tea blend I had tried in past chez Teavana (my mouth puckers just thinking of the overly sugary-sour-bitter.)

The aroma out of the box is VERY strong. Sour cherry. I thought “oh no, here we go again.” But the cherries being used aren’t the dried, sugared type, they’re an actual type of cherry bean, so there wasn’t the “marzipan” character to it. It’s very pretty in the teapot – the black tea, the green needles, and the small cherry beans (I can see this being a nice treat at the holidays).

Brewed according to directions, steeped for 2.5 minutes. The sip isn’t bad. Definite cherry. I can still taste the qualities of the black tea. Not as disappointing as it foreshadowed. There was a stronger astringency than I’m used to, about medium if I had to put it on a scale.

I’m curious to try this again blended with milk and see if my opinion changes, being a black tea it just might be the ticket!

I’m satisfied, but I’m still on the hunt for my “best” cherry tea. Something that leans more toward creamy and slightly floral or spicy, like some of the good-smelling lotions at Bath and Body works.

Definitely a notch above a green cherry blend.

Meghann M

I found this makes a truly delicious cold brewed iced tea. Even as a second steep of the leaves.

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This tea was a true experience! I haven’t tried genmaicha before, so I’m taking my own exuberance with a grain of salt, but I really enjoyed this tea.

Out of the box, the dry leaves smell of matcha and sencha – that familiar fresh, vegetal goodness. I didn’t notice the rice adding to the aroma yet, but altogether, the sencha, and matcha-covered kernels made for a pretty presentation as they sat in my kyusu waiting for the hot water.

As soon as the hot water hit the kyusu, WOW! Warm, nutty, wheaty, rice smell that was familiar – like Rice Crispies cereal without the note of sugar. Wasn’t sure how that would mesh with the matcha and sencha to sip.

In the cup, it makes for a smoky, rich, complex sencha flavor. Nutty smoke to start, then vegetal, buttery sencha as the sip completes.

I’m afraid I’ve found yet another favorite to keep in my cupboard!

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drank Paradise Green by Lupicia
54 tasting notes

This was a pyramid sachet free sample that arrived today with my Lupicia order. I was looking for something convenient to steep, and having tried the Tropical Green from Revolution Tea this morning, my palate was ready for a comparison.

The aroma is pineapple and green tea leaf. There are blue and pink flower petals mixed in with the fruit bits. I’m particularly fond of the aesthetics of blue petals with tea, so this got my attention.

I was expecting a super sweet cup, but pleasantly suprised that the actual cup had a subdued flavor. I could still taste the fruit as a secondary note, but the tea was recognizable. Pineapple was the dominant fruit in my experience. The green in combination probably lends itself to the melon other people might pick up on.

A nice blend, an experience for nose, eye, and palate. I’d try it again if I were looking for a sweet tea, though I’m not a big fanatic of fruited teas in general. Peach and cherry are my standards, with pear being a distant third.

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I bought this from my grocery aisle when my Revolution Tea chamomile/mint sampler ran out. A family member was having digestive trouble and found the chamomile to be helpful.
This is a pure chamomile tisane, it’s the only ingredient listed, though it’s not what I’d call a full “leaf” – the ingredients appeared to be a bit chopped and it’s in a regular/convential tea bag.
I steeped per the usual method and it’s a tasty, relaxing cup of chamomile, though the flavor doesn’t come “alive” as with other versions that add other herbs into the blend.

A great cup for the purist, recommended for the person looking for an accessible herb tea that isn’t fussy. But if you’re looking for a chamomile "experience’, there are better brands out there to try.

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This was part of the 5 varieties included in the 15-serving tea chest I purchased. I’ve had chamomile before, but never had it paired with any kind of mint, and I like it! It doesn’t steep very strongly, but in the cup it’s a pleasing spring yellow. The aroma is relaxing, and the mint and chamomile don’t overpower one another. I was expecting it to brew into a stronger overall flavor, but I think the fact that it’s not such a strong formula is what makes it better than the Tazos and others I’ve had before.
Mild chamomile topnotes with a smooth mint finish and aftertaste. Will contemplate adding this to my bedtime routine.

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drank White Pear by Revolution Tea
54 tasting notes

This was the second in the series of 6 mini T-tins I ordered. I’m a bit confused by this one for two reasons:
One – it’s dark, and smells like a darker green tea. Not getting why it’s marketed as a white tea.
Two – no pear aroma from the leaves, only a very faint aftertaste, but nowhere at all during the sip.

I followed directions for white teas – cooler water, short steep – and it still brewed up like a green. Not unpleasant, but doesn’t deliver on the fruit or delicateness the label seems to allude to.

I may add some ginger shavings to my next pot and see if that might not highlight something I’m missing. But I think it’s fair to say I won’t be replenishing this when it runs out.

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This is a perfect warm-weather tea, and I can also see it making a great iced treat as part of a lemon/tea cocktail. I’ve only ever had ginger with Puerhs, where the ginger would need to compete with the strong earth notes, so this was a new experience.
This is a blend of Assam and Ceylon, therefore the ginger is milder. It warms the cup, but you can still taste the black tea flavor profile. The peach is pleasant in the aroma, in the cup it’s not overwhelming – which is how I personally feel flavored tea should be done. You should still be able to discern whether the base tea is good or not. While I’m not tasting extraordinary maltiness or the typical Assam astringency, it still tastes like a good quality cup.
I purchased this flavor as a mini tin Revolution Tea traveler – the tin contains 6 mesh infuser bags. I do believe I’ll replenish the tin when I’m done, it’s a relaxing post-meal tea that I look forward to getting to know better in subsequent days.
Steeped for 2 minutes with just-under-boiling water. 2nd steep, around 5 minutes with cooler water. No major difference apart from a weaker peach aroma

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drank DeTox by Yogi Tea
54 tasting notes

Another herbal I’m adding to my routine for a while to help with winter fatigue. Yogi offers their Detox versions in a berry and peach flavor also, but check the labels carefully – there are differing levels of ingredients in each. The peach flavor appealed to me, but it had lower % of the ingredients I was looking for (dandelion root, for example). By law, ingredients on labels have to be listed in order of % of the total (for those who weren’t aware).

The aroma is heavenly. I don’t so much get the sarsparilla as I get the caramom and cinnamon coming through. Licorice root adds a sweetness in the sip, and the pepper adds a kick to it. The pepper was a surprise – I like adding pepper as a savory enhancer to balance the sweet in different things, chocolate and so forth.

The other thing I’m noticing with Yogi teas is that the steeping time/strength doesn’t seem to affect the taste especially. I put 2 bags in a 4-cup teapot – intentionally didn’t want a super-strong infusion, but the result was still a peppery sweetness.

It’s enjoyable, whether you’re drinking it for health or for taste. Reminiscent of holiday spice teas.

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drank Healthy Fasting by Yogi Tea
54 tasting notes

I brewed a strong pot of this after a day of culinary adventures. I didn’t actually purchase this tea as a fasting support, I looked at the label and it contains several herbs I’ve been meaning to add to my vitamin regimen. Dandelion root, licorice, and fennel, among others.

It should be noted that this isn’t a tea to drink in large quantities if you have certain health concerns – always read the label to know exactly what you’re drinking.

Licorice is the primary aroma and flavor. There’s a sweet mid-note and aftertaste. You can smell and taste the fennel on the initial part of the sip.

This is a great tea to help train your palate if you were looking for that experience. The sweets and savories are clear and appear in different stages and parts of the mouth.

The black licorice flavor is well-balanced, it stays mellow and lets the other ingredients play through. A nice end-of-day relaxing cup even if you’re not fasting.

Not a tea for people who prefer simple, uncomplicated blends.

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drank Zen by Tazo
54 tasting notes

Got two steepings from the mesh bags I put in my tumbler this morning for work. This is definitely a smooth spearmint flavor, with just enough lemon secondary notes to remind you that you’re not drinking liquid Wrigley’s gum. That’s not to say that the mint flavor is overwhelming, but I have a hard time distinguishing the green tea. Between Zen and Refresh, another of Tazo’s mint offerings, I believe Refresh is my preference.

But Zen would make an aMAZing iced tea for a warm weather treat. Make a strong infusion, squeeze a tad bit more lemon for balance, and you’re ready for ice!

I feel confident in suggesting that Zen is really trying to be more of a tisane than a tea.

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Still fairly new to the life-long process of learning and appreciating tea. Got into loose leaf a number of years ago after health concerns cut soda and sugared drinks from my repertoire. I’ve been blogging about and exploring tea more in-depth for the past several years and I just plain enjoy it. I keep an eye out for French tea trends as well, so if you parlez, bienvenue!

My ratings tend to fall into these categories:

I don’t bother discussing teas that I wouldn’t recommend to other folks on some level. Not worth drinking, not worth wasting time, so you won’t see many yellow light scores from me. I will, however, post if a tea is marketed as something it’s not. There are a couple of examples in my tea log.

50-70’s : Fair. Either a quality or grade issue or perhaps not suited to my personal preference. Wouldn’t turn it down if it were a gift, but wouldn’t purchase it for myself.

80’s: Good teas. Enjoyable and well-crafted, but maybe some slight room for improvement or maybe a notch below another of the same type that I’ve tried. Would buy again if the price were reasonable.

90’s: Excellent teas. My personal favorites that I’ve fallen in love with and have been surprised by.

I don’t know that I’ve ever rated a 100, which is why the 80’s and 90’s are more representative of the teas I like and would recommend. A 96 is just about perfect.



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