411 Tasting Notes


First time I try a tea, I always go off the instructions on the front of the package. This has gotten me into trouble (I’m looking directly at you Samovar Royal Garland*) a few times, and this was one of them.

I was making 16 oz of tea, so I added slightly over 2.5 heaping teaspoons per directions (1 heaping tsp per 6 oz water) and brewed for the 5 minutes it noted.

It smelled like a fishtank and the hubband poured his cup down the sink after two sips. In protest. I just didn’t finish mine. I have a bunch of this – it was on sale @ specialteas. So I took it to work and tried it again. This time, not quite 2 for 12 oz of water, and about 3 minutes.

Much more palateable. The orange does add a nice note, and it doesn’t smell like a fishtank anymore. However, this is not my favorite pu-erh, by a long shot.

(*My container of Samovar Royal Garland called for 2-3 tbsp to 6 oz of water. It was not pretty. I haven’t reviewed yet because I haven’t gotten over that, even though I know I need to try it with a much more reasonable parameters.)


Wow, that 2-3 tbsp thing sounds like a misprint!

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This? Iced? Holy heck – this is awesome. I’m totally bumping this rating a little, because this is just yummy.

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A darker nuttier white brew than other white teas I’ve had. It’s got a scent of fresh hay and a flavor that’s slightly astrigent but quite pleasant. It’s got some sweet notes as well as a few sour ones – but the sour works.

This is one of those teas that takes a lot of leaf with a shorter brew time. The leaves are light and fluffy and all over the place. It’s almost like clouds.

I think I still need to work on my brewing parameters, but overall, this is pleasant.

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When brewed to reccomendations – this was a little weak. However when brewed a little stronger, it’s quite nice. And, this just is LOVELY as an iced tea. It does brew up very lightly – the color is just a light, light green.

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drank Caramelized Pear by Art of Tea
411 tasting notes

I got distracted from this tea (I know, I know) and forgot all about it until an hour after it was brewed.

I don’t find it anywhere near as good cold. You can taste hints of caramel and fleeting bits of pear, but overall the rooibos comes out more – which does not endear it to me.

I’ll need to make more tomorrow night to remind me of why I like it. (Oh dear, I have to drink more good tea. Boo hoo! :) )

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More of this iced today, and it’s really growing on me. I steep double strength, then pour over ice cubes, and it’s just awesome. I don’t get much of the pomegranate, but it’s just yummy.

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A sample from Meghann M – thank you!!

Smelling the sample was wonderful – the aromatic qualties of the tea were amazing. The smell is powerful and strong.

However, the flavor profile is nowhere as strong as the smell. In taste, the bergamot is fairly mild. If you like your Earl Grey smooth and mellow, this may be your cup of tea. The tea base is mild and flavorful, and a lovely dark brown color when brewed.

However, I tend to prefer my bergamot a little stronger. So, not my cup of choice, but not a bad cup at all.

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drank Almond Cookie by SpecialTeas
411 tasting notes

Did a work day out in the woodshed with my husband – where I’m getting over my power-tool phobia. I used a table saw, hand-held jigsaw and a evil little something else saw and didn’t a) freak out or b) hurt myself or others.

It’s a cold miserable day today, so I made us tea to help us through the work. A giant pot of this tea was PERFECT. Warm, sweet, and cookie-ish. Perfect.


Power tools are a joy to use as long as you show them respect – I’m proud that you’re making progress! :)


Very cool. I usually just provide my husband moral support.

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I had this hot, and I thought it was ok. Then I had this iced, and really liked it. I’m surprised, but I’m finding iced green oolong teas amazing lately. As summer is now starting, I think this may be where I get my tea for the hot season. :) Maybe not this green oolong, but definitely other green oolongs.

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drank Marco Polo by Mariage Frères
411 tasting notes

Ok, so I’ve been putting off rating this tea for a while. Because everyone loves it, and I initally didn’t find it particularly special. I wasn’t getting the amazing dessert overtones that everyone else got.

But, it’s been growing on me. And now, I really like it. Especially when I have it with half and half and sweetener. Fruity, smooth, and just pleasureable.


Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

I had it a week or two ago and this tea definitely grows on you. Then again I feel that most teas do if you keep drinking it. Well it either grows on you or gives you a disgusted feeling.


I agree with Ricky the first time I had it it was good the second time I had it okay and the third time (like last week) I thought to myself THIS IS GOOD! :)


It’s a roller coaster tea!


How can you go wrong with half and half! ha ha

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I’ve got a lot of interests: sushi, science fiction/fantasy, medieval recreation, cooking (specifically medieval cooking), reading, British science fiction (Doctor Who!), hand sewing and now TEA!!

My favorites tend to be oolongs and flavored black teas. I like highly flavored teas more than delicate ones. Rooibos tends to taste like dirt to me, and hibiscus is very sour to my palate. But I’m always up to try all sorts of things, and will often find things that I really like which I thought I’d hate.


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