333 Tasting Notes

drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
332 tasting notes

Firstly, I’d like to apologize for falling off the NaNo front last month. Well, I don’t think it’s something I really need to apologize for, but I’m doing it anyway. I got SO pumped for writing it, and then I went to do it, and 1) in less than a week, finishing that novel lost almost all importance to me, and 2) I was only reminded of life priorities that are bigger to me than writing a novel. I’m lame, huh?

OK, enough with the ramble. I’m still a little funny with this tea, but it was about the right texture I was looking for this morning.


I didn’t manage to finish my Nano write either :( I became too busy and had awful writers block. Maybe we can both try again next year.

Terri HarpLady

You are not lame! You are in good company :)
I started off, knowing that this wasn’t gonna be a good year for it, & it wasn’t.
I did manage 17,000 words, but only by writing til 2am, because my days are so full right now with practicing, and that is my priority. So I had to put my novel aside…for now.

I love NaNoWriMo, but maybe I’ll do Janowrimo instead…

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
332 tasting notes

Seeing that this is the 9th time that I’ve logged this tea, I wasn’t going to post a tasting note – but then I had a little bit of a different experience this time. I steeped it a bit on the 3 min side, in contrast to my normal tendency to go 5+ minutes. The first several sips tasted just about like they always do. But then I had the cup close to my nose and happened to sniff – and there was fruit. OK maybe more like sweet potato, or maybe it really is plummy. It was a flash of scent, gone as soon as it came. I taste it when I’m looking for it, just shimmering under the surface.

I swear, tea is halfway a psychology experiment.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Earl Grey Black by Teavana
332 tasting notes

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drank Fujian Baroque by Adagio Teas
332 tasting notes

I wanted to use up some of this quickly, so I made two cups. And given my previous luck with leafage and Adagio teas, I used. about 4.5 teaspoons for two cups. That was about the right amount; the flavor is now present enough to seem “real.”

Shroomy. It tastes shroomy in that tart, slightly astringent way. It tastes like a lot of teas I’ve had before. Not a bad tea, but not exceptional enough to get again. Especially when it takes 4.5 teaspoons to make 2 cups worth.

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I went to fix myself this tea this morning and realized I had TWO cups’ worth left, not just one like I thought. This morning I put the tea through my accidental “steep it way longer than 5 minutes” test that seems to be becoming a trend…

It’s still great, and if anything, the longer steep time brings out the rose flavor. I’m upping the numbers on this. Anywhere below 95 is just not accurate anymore.

If I get one Teavivre tea in my splurge, it’ll be this. This is one of the rare teas I can’t get over my awe of.

…I did place my first Butiki order last night too.

8 min or more

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Sipdown! I’m going a little batty tonight with the program notes. There have been some… challenges while researching this particular batch.

Anywho, I was steeping this while I was researching one particular piece on which there is JUST ABOUT NO INFORMATION WHATSOEVER besides the composer and the lyricist. No commission information, nothing about the first performance or the inspiration behind it, no hints as to whether or not the song is traditional or an original piece, can barely see the copyright date. NOTHING. Thanks a lot, publishers, thanks a lot. But the point is, I got so carried away in what I was doing that I steeped this thing for, oh… about fifteen minutes? Whoops. And guess what? It tastes fine. Hooray for forgiving teas?

So that’s one more down, not sure I’ll really miss it. Tomorrow I plan to finish off the Rose Dian Hong (CRYYYYYYYYY!) So that way I can make room for the impending tea splurge (YAYYYYYYYY!)

205 °F / 96 °C 8 min or more

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drank Laoshan Black by Verdant Tea
332 tasting notes

This one’s with cereal and the movie “Greedy” (on Netflix) today. Not a lot to say that I haven’t said before. Mmm LB is delicious, comforting, forgiving, amazeballs. I’m totes a writing major, guys. (I am, actually. Although these days I make far more use of my trumpet minor / the excess of classes that I took for it…)

It’s probably rude of me to talk about one tea company while writing a tasting note for another, but I’ve posted about how good this one is several times so eh. … I placed my first Harney & Sons order yesterday! Whee! Some of their flavored teas named after cities (notably Paris!), their Valentine tea, and the lavender tea that I honestly got as much for it being blue as anything. Excited!

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I think I’m going to place my first H and S order today too!


I’m a big fan of H&S! I hope you enjoy the new teas!


That’s exciting! I hope you enjoy them. :)


Thank you!

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drank Arabian Night by Zen Tea
332 tasting notes

It’s the end of a long day of staring at the snow all day at work; whacking myself on the chin with a collapsible yardstick; drinking tea, gingerbread latte, and water all at the same time; and listening to the first official Christmas music of the season, thanks to this next set of program notes I’m writing. And I have the next two days off again – yay! Will probably be used to write program notes and watch things on Netflix.

I decided to give this tea a second go because I remember having such high hopes for it, then being so let down. I tried a relatively cool steep temperature this time (again, I can’t give specifics since I heat the water by sound), and did like a 1 minute steep.

Yep. It’s still not good. The flavoring tastes like some kind of medicine almost, the kind that tries to taste like something good and just comes out like a nasty counterfeit. I can’t even pinpoint the flavor, maybe a bit of an attempt at rose along with something slightly pungent.

Thank you for the sample, Zen Tea, but it’s not one of my favorites. At least I know your vanilla tea is delish!


Oh yeah, this one was like pungent jasmine to me.


I’m impressed that you got jasmine. I just got some kind of wildflower slap in the face.

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drank Holiday Tea by Harney & Sons
332 tasting notes

I don’t have a ton of time to write a tasting note, but I’d just like to say that third time’s the charm. I tend to brew by the sound the kettle makes rather than time or temperature, so I can’t give exact specifications, only that I let it be under boiling temperature and steeped for about 4 – 5 minutes. And I’m eating it with cereal, which probably helps. It certainly feels seasonally appropriate today – it’s snowed and very wintry gray outside!

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Sipping on this while continuing my Family Ties viewing / putting off working on the program notes until tomorrow. I was about to do the H&S Holiday Tea for the third time in two days, then I realized – wait. Black Friday’s in four days, Cyber Monday’s in a week, and I’m planning a tea splurge regardless of whether or not the companies in question are offering discounts or not. My cupboard’s not enormous by Steepster standards, but I better sip down a few things up in here.

I oversteeped this by a bit, so it’s a little bitter. But still good and smoky. Little mushroomy, but that might be the oversteeping. I wish I could say more, and more intelligent stuff. But it’s enjoyable.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

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The name’s Holly. 27. Work for a small IT company. About to finish a Master’s degree this winter. ISFJ for what it’s worth. I play various instruments (mostly bass guitar right now), attempt to write songs that I’m too scared to play for anyone, and I’m currently taking voice lessons. I also enjoy starting various hobbies, wearing monochromes, writing, cooking, taking walks, and various and sundry other things…

I’ve been a tea drinker since spring of 2013. Tea is a source of happiness, positivity, curiosity, and relaxation (…and caffeine) for me.

I’ve been on and off this site over the years, and I even had a separate tea blog at one point. For now, I’m just working on getting back in the habit of enjoying tea regularly and to its fullest.

Love: Malty Chinese black teas, shu/ripe pu erhs, soft flowery teas (esp. jasmine teas)

Like: Japanese green teas, sheng/ripe pu erhs, white teas

Still trying to get into: Most oolongs, chai teas

Not crazy about: Roasty teas, fruity teas, rooibos, many (not all) herbal teas

90-100: YEAH!
80-89: Nice! This is good stuff.
70-79: Respectable tea.
60-69: Not bad.
50-59: Middling. Not really worth it.
25-49: Eeeeeugh. Not good.
0-24: Did you know you can use tea leaves as odor absorbent?



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