This is a simple website for keeping track and reviewing the teas I have tasted. I rank them in the order of my personal preferences. No affliate links.
The ranking is based on the "newcomer" mentality: how good the tea tastes, how much it costs and where it can be bought, and how sensitive is the tea to mistakes (e.g. steeping too long, using water that is too hot).
Jasmine Yin Hao, Adagio Teas
A solid jasmine tea from Adagio. The floral notes of the jasmine are clearly woven through the tea, but it is not too overpowering. The instructions provided do tend to make a leafier sort of tea, so I recommend tasting as the tea steeps to find the point when you can just smell the jasmine. For me, I find the 1 minute 30 second mark to be perfect, depending on the temperature of the water.
I would recommend this tea to people for the excellent balance of price and taste, with the caveat that boiling water should never be used.
Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea, Harney and Sons
This is truly a remarkable jasmine tea from Harney and Sons. It doesn't require a careful watch of the time to achieve an excellent cup of tea. The floral jasmine notes are clear here without any sort of leafiness. I tried steeping it multiple times and the result was was the same. The texture of the tea is smooth and almost rich, which is something I have never experienced in a floral tea before. It almost hugs your lips as you sip it.
The only reason it ranks below the Jasmine Yin Hao of Adagio Teas is the price of the tea for an entry level price, but with regards to taste, it is in every way a superior jasmine tea.
Award Winning Golden Buds Jasmine Tea, Teavivre
Mellow, round, and fragrant. The smell of jasmine cuts through the tea, but it is not too cloying. Most Jasmine teas are delicate green things, but here, black whole leaves are used to great effect to round out the sweet smell of jasmine. The tea itself is smooth, although you would need to control the time carefully to prevent bitterness. However, it is a little expensive, so I recommend getting a sampler.
A great introduction to jasmine teas.
Award Winning Superfine Ali Shan Oolong Tea, Teavivre
To be really honest, this is what you should be spending your money on at Teavivre. As opposed to their other teas, their oolongs are priced comparitively with other sellers, and this is where the origin of the tea actually matters. The Ali shan oolong tea does what it says on the label: it goes out and wins a medal, and it is really, really smooth and thick, almost like honey compared to other green leaves. It is very clearly an oolong tea, there's no doubt about that. I think for its price, it is quite a good introduction to oolong teas. It doesn't require precise temperature control, and is rather forgiving if you steep it a little long.
An epitome of oolong teas. The only reason it ranks below the jasmine tea from Teavivre is because I like jasmine teas better.
Japanese Sencha, Harney and Sons
A full-mouthed, flavourful tea that has that healthy smell of fresh vegetables that reminds you of a field after a rain. I really like this tea as a go-to tea to drink at any time of the day.
A wonderful green tea with a veggie mouth-feel that makes you feel immediately better. Good at any time of the day.
Lu Shan Yun Wu Green Tea, Teavivre
This tea has a strong sense of that fresh veggie flavour that is similar to sencha. It has a slightly nutty aroma to it and a dry aftertaste. Pretty easy to brew and is quite consistent in flavour. However, a bit on the expensive side.
A fresh, dry tea. Perfect for finishing after a oily or greasy meal.
Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea, Harney and Sons
The first reaction I had to this tea was absolute astonishment. This tea is sweet! But the claim is that this tea does not contain any sugars. The sweetness is as if I added two teaspoons of sugar in it, so it is not just a hint, but definitely in the forefront and center of the taste of this tea. The cinnamon warms up the tea, and citrus tones from the dried orange peels give it a little zing. This is clever because the hint of spiciness is enhanced by the zing of the orange. Without it, in order to achieve the same level of spiciness, the cinnamon might have overwhelmed any other flavour, making it undrinkable. As it stands, this is a masterful blend that brings together several tastes into a complementary whole.
A great tea to drink, and a fun surprise for those who have never tasted it before.
Paris Tea, Harney and Sons
This is a rich black tea and oolong mix from Harney and Sons. It smells like fruit punch without the coying sweetness, and with a touch of caramel that gives it a pleasant smoothness. A hint of vanilla lingers just on the edge to reinforce the caramel. This is one of the rare teas that tastes like it smells.
A wonderful blend that does not disappoint.
Earl Grey Bravo, Adagio Teas
I don't personally like Earl Grey teas, but this tea won me over. A nice and bright tea that reminds me of a early spring morning. The taste is fresh, and doesn't taste like soap, which was what that turned me off earl grey teas in the first place.
A bright blend excellent for turning those gloomy days into bright ones. Good if you had a bad experience with earl greys.
Green Tea with Jasmine, Taylors of Harrogate
I remember drinking this tea on a early Saturday morning. The day was just starting and the morning light was just filtering in through the windows. Jasmine notes are muted, but this is balanced by a faint honey sweetness in the tea which I found delightful. The tea itself is a little thin. I feel that if this tea could be obtained in loose leaf form, it will be higher up on the list.
A convenient, cheap, and good option for jasmine tea.
Jasmine, Harney and Sons
The smell of jasmine from the packet is quite prominent and even heady, but upon brewing, it can barely be smelled or even tasted. It is a good tea to cleanse the palate, but it doesn't hold up to the promise that the smell makes.
A jasmine tea that doesn't stand out.
Jasmine Phoenix Pearls, Adagio Teas
I was surprised to find that the Jasmine Phoenix Pearls from Adagio Teas were actually less flavorful than it's cheaper cousin, the Jasmine Yin Hao. After brewing, it tasted only faintly of jasmine and smelt like jasmine scented hot water. This option is almost 25% more expensive than it's equivalent at Harney and Sons and has a poorer quality.
Expensive and worse than it's cheaper cousin. Pass.
- Other teas
- Hot Leaf Juice
Hot Leaf Juice
This is where teas that have been oversteeped go to rest.
Black Tea, Lipton
Lipton in the US seems to taste like ground-up twigs. In other parts of the world, Lipton is actually quite an okay sort of tea. The fact that it is in a teabag does give it a few sympathy points, and it is generally the cheapest per volume of tea you can brew. However, the taste is so horrible that it can only be my lowest benchmark for teas.