615 Tasting Notes

drank Hepburn by Nina's Paris
615 tasting notes

Thank you again to Laurent and Sophie for a chance to try a couple of Nina’s Paris teas. I really enjoyed this one as well.

The flavoring is really subtle and balanced, but much better once the tea has cooled for 10-15 minutes or so. The orange while still piping hot was a little orange-rindy, but as the tea cooled, it because sweeter and more natural-fruit flavored. What lingers of the flavor on your tongue is juicy and fresh tasting. The cream also popped once the cup cooled, and was a sweet, rich cream that hung on and mingled with the orange. And the chocolate wasn’t quite identifiable as milk or dark chocolate, but had a cocoa flavor that was imparted somewhere mid sip. It doesn’t really play with the other flavors in the aftertaste.

I wish I had a bit more of this to play with milk and sugar. I think it has the potential to be truly decadent. Even so, it was very good and I’m grateful for the opportunity to try it!

I’m definitely leaving this on the wishlist as a reminder to get it when I have the chance.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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I think I went into this with too high of expectations.

I mixed it up with some vanilla almond milk, and was expecting a sweet and kind of decadent chocolate/vanilla beverage.


The chocolate isn’t as stand out-ish as I was hoping for (though I’d reckon that could be corrected by ordering a stronger flavor, so I’ll refrain from judgment at this time), but it is definitely there as a kind of not-quite-sweet dark cocoa flavor.

What I don’t necessarily care for is that it seems that there’s a floral element to the cup and its out of place here.

Overall, it’s not bad and I’ll breeze through the sample packet. I just don’t know if I’d go out of my way for it again. Oh well! There’s more matcha fish in the sea, I just need to find the chocolate one for me.


I got this one Robust and I’m really glad I did. I almost wish I’d gotten it at “There’s Matcha in There?!” level sometimes. Other flavors I have ordered Distinctive. Delicate just isn’t enough flavor for me.


I’m finding Robust is the only way to go with dessert-like matchas, although this chocolate still isn’t my favorite, sadly. I reserve distinctive for the fruity blends, as I find they get floral/ick at anything higher (for me).


I think chocolate would be pretty easy to make by throwing some unsweetened cocoa powder into some plain matcha? Anyone know a reason that wouldn’t work??


Stephanie — I really like that idea. I can’t see why that wouldn’t work, but maybe I’m overlooking something? I actually mixed up some hot cocoa mix not too long ago I’m be tempted to mix with matcha now. It’d be pre-sweetened and everything then too.

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drank Pikachu by Adagio Custom Blends
615 tasting notes

I was hoping this was going to be more pavlova with candied lemons and cherries and instead I got Cherry Zebra Stripe gum. There’s some serious rooibos flavor in here, as well.

I’m hoping this is better iced.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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drank Tahitian Limeade by Teavana
615 tasting notes

I made a whole pitcher of this, and cold steeped this tea does nothing for me.

Like. Zip.

The lime is too sour and it’s more floral than limeade should be, which makes the whole thing feel off.

Luckily I have some lemonade singles (you know the kind you dump into a water bottle and shake up?) that once added to the cup make a pretty decent limeade. It’s tarter than lemonade and the florals are choked out, so I can thankfully get through this pitcher, because I was really doubting it there for a minute.

Iced 8 min or more 10 tsp 64 OZ / 1892 ML

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drank Thé de Vendôme by Nina's Paris
615 tasting notes

Thank you so much Laurent and Sophie for so graciously sending me samples from Nina’s Paris.

I’ve read such glowing reviews, so I was really excited to get into these!

This cup has definite grapefruit and orange rind components, though neither veers into bitterness or is too bold. There’s almost a spicy peppery element to the cup that I really enjoyed as well. Despite being bright flavors, the overall vibe I get from this is far more mellow, and more for a quiet summer’s night or something — it’s a nice change from a lot of citrus teas out there.

Overall, I’m really thrilled with my first Nina’s sample and really look forward to the other two!

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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So, I started reviewing this one last night because I made a cup for Fiance and I, because he was doing some after-hours work and wanted something decaffeinated.

Of course that was short lived when a friend of ours let us know his girlfriend was performing at a local bar tonight and we should come. So we did, and had a great time. But while we were gone my computer decided to eat the notepad file I had going on with my notes on this tea.

This is kind of the sum of it, though:

It ended up tarter than I typically find myself leaning toward in tea (maybe like a 5.5/10 in tartness), but the tartness doesn’t overwhelm the cherry cream flavor, and makes it more of a sour cherry kind of feeling. It’s not a medicinal kind of cherry, but not entirely natural either. I think fiance mentioned 3-4 times over the cup how good it was, so there’s that too.

Boiling 8 min or more 4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Bouddha Bleu by Mariage Frères
615 tasting notes

I feel bad about my feelings towards this tea, but I’m enjoying it so much more now that’s it’s a little older.

The floral and juicy fruit components held up fine, there’s even a bit of lychee and pineapple I can distinguish now. Even the slight green flavor of the tea is still there. But the baby powder finish is all but gone, and it’s more mellow than it used to be, which makes it so much better.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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This is exactly what I needed this morning.

Fiance was up at the crack of dawn to do some work related things (ERP upgrade going live this coming Monday and all). So, while I’m glad I’m not him, I am usually incapable of falling back asleep once I’m woken up. No exception today.

Basically I needed something that perked me up and cheered me up all at once.

What a way to fit a bill!

This is delicious, malty and bready with notes of dark, rich cocoa, and a bit of fruity caramel.

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

Still one of my favourite black from Teavivre :-)

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I crawled out of my anti-social hidey-hole today and got together with a friend, which ended up with us sitting in Starbucks and chatting for the better part of five hours.

Of course, now I’ve had more caffeine today than anyone rightfully should.

But at least the trend started with a pretty lovely pot of Da Hong Pao from a local Asian restaurant. It had the right mix of woody, loamy and a bit of apricot-like sweetness to make polishing it off a pleasure.


Friend time—sounds wonderful!

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drank Gui Fei Oolong by Butiki Teas
615 tasting notes

I love cupboard surprises! This little one was lurking in the back of the kitchen cupboard.

And it is good.

Maybe not blow me away good, but seriously solid.

Sweet honey, a bit of sweet and fruity lychee essence, and a very mellow toastiness — in a toasted nut kind of way — all wrapped inside this mildly thick, syrupy-like liquor.


180 °F / 82 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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Name: Lauren
Location: Wisconsin (previously a Chicago girl)
Occupation: Student by day and super hero by night
Super Hero? Yep!
Which One? I can’t tell you that! Secret identities and such. Just know I’m not the hero they want, but the hero they need.
Sidekicks: Fiance and two budgies, Skitter and Gandalf


Reading, writing, cooking, video games, computers, drawing, crafting, papercraft. Oh and tea.

A brief history:

I grew up in a family where the only working coffee maker was in my dad’s office. So the name of the game for my mother and I quickly became (bagged) tea. In 2004/2005, I discovered Adagio Teas. I don’t remember how it happened, or why I decided to pursue a purchase but here we are. I haven’t looked back.

My tea tastes have changed over time and I’ve moved from liking solely flavored teas (mostly black and white) to enjoying Darjeelings primarily, though malty unflavored blacks, fresh tasting greens, and lightly oxidized oolongs come in pretty high on my list, too. Of course, I still enjoy a good cup of flavored tea. I prefer caffeinated teas, as I have a horrible caffeine addiction that I don’t plan on kicking any time soon.

Red rooibos and lapsang souchong (or other strongly smoky teas) are my arch nemeses and I will see them defeated and removed by force from my cupboard. Like all thing, there are exceptions, but I assume they’re guilty until proven innocent.

I really don’t like negatively rating things, because I feel like if you don’t have something nice to say, you probably shouldn’t say it. But in the interest of non-biased tea reviews I’m going to give it a shot. I view every tea as a potential adventure so I’ll try most things at least once.

I love trading and swaps are always welcome! Please note, though, what it in my cupboard includes amounts ranging from a couple cups to 4 ounces or more, so please PM me to find out if what you’re seeking is available in that trade amount.

According to my spreadsheet, I also have about 100 other 1-4 cup samples that are not in my cupboard.. Feel free to message if you’re interested in see the spreadsheet for possible swap options as well.

Tea Ratings:

100-95 Nectar of the teagods that has been bestowed upon my unworthy tongue. I will never let this tin run empty.

86-94 These are the teas I would like to keep regularly stocked, but sometimes life gets in the way. Lovely teas, but not quite god tier. I still get cravings for these.

74-85 Good teas, but not amazing. I enjoy these, but may or may not restock once they run out. I would still recommend these to others.

60-73 Not bad. I’ll gladly keep drinking my cup, and wouldn’t say no if someone offered me this tea. I probably won’t rebuy these as there is likely something else that is comparable and better.

47-59 Certainly drinkable and might even have some characteristics that I enjoy, but I won’t pick it up again

30-46 I’ll probably finish my cup, but this tea isn’t to my taste OR it’s just overwhemingly mediocre. Life’s too short for bad tea.

11-29 This cup is in the sink now and I will never willingly consume this again. If you see a tea rated this way, I probably followed it with mouthwash.

0-10 Please say a prayer for the cup I destroyed in the process of disposing of this tea in the quickest manner possible. I may need tea therapy before I drink a similar tea again.


Wisconsin, US



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