307 Tasting Notes


Exactly how do you rinse a tea? I gave it what I thought was a rinse, but I’m not sure I did it right.

At any rate, I still like this tea. Mellow, earthy, oddly spicy, full-bodied. And a needed wake-up.


To rinse a Pu Erh I Pour boiling water into the teapot for roughly 5-10 seconds and discard the water. The idea is to open up the leaves so they steep with more flavour.


Yes, The rinse step can help washing and waking up your tea leaves. You can put the tea into the Yixing teapot and pour boiling water, it doesn’t need too much water this time, just cover the tea leaves.

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This un’s a sipdown. This time around it came out a bit soapy. Eh. Ah well. I would’ve had more to say about it this morning, but… egh. Monday mornings. Egh.

Thanks to Nicole for the sample!

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Today was my birthday!!! Which meant a self-assigned day of doing whatever I wanted. Well, for the most part. I would have really liked to sit around and chill a bit more, but I wound up going to a concert tonight and did other stuff and it was a bit busier than I’d intended.

But anywho. Had this for a morning cup, which was delicious. Then I made a resteep and put in the thermos to take on the drive to the concert… and then forgot it. Whoops. But that meant I still had it, all nice and warm and everything, for me when I got home to start watching my favorite movie. Shoulda left it in the thermos, that way it wouldn’t have cooled as I drink it oh so slowly. Ah well. Still delicious and masterful.

Also this may have been a sipdown? I’m not sure; I’ll have to tidy up my cupboard to see for sure.

P.S. After a month and a half of not getting any new teas (!!!), I used my coupon to place a Verdant order. So excited! … If only I’d not waited until after the Zhu Rong Yunnan was out of stock; that one has always intrigued me.


Happy birthday! :)


Thank you! :D

Terri HarpLady

Harpy Birthday!


Happy Birthday!


I hope it was happy, and that the coming year will be as well!


Hope you had a good one!

Tea Sipper

I hope it was a great birthday!


Happy birthday!


Thanks everyone! :D :D :D

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Backlog from this morning and afternoon; this was another one from Teapots & Treasures; I think it was called Art Deco? It was a black tea with Assam and Keemun as well as some flavorings.

Not quite my cup of tea; nonetheless, I was very impressed! It was a satisfying black tea brew, and the flavor was a healthy mix of fruity (which is why it wasn’t quite my thing, I’m not a fruity tea person at all) and nutty. I don’t know if “complex” is the right word, but it was an interesting and quality flavor. I’d recommend it!

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Yet another woefully backfired “early to bed early to rise” plan + stupid allergy season makes my throat scratchy every single morning = mmmmmm black tea. I was generous with the leaves this morning, so it’s pretty mushroomy and “atmospheric.” You know what I’m talking about, right? Atmospheric tea? Oh gods I love this tea.

P.S. Anyone know what’s going on with this Steepster Select? It looks like it’s some kind of tea-of-the-month club. So how do they pick the teas? Do they find them from Steepster reviews? Are they all from different tea companies?


I miss that tea a lot, used to be a staple but until I reduce significantly my cupboard, I’m resisting the usual repurchasing impulse!
There seems to be no info available on Select unless you request the mailing invite…hmmm.

Terri HarpLady

I requested it, mainly just to see what the plan is. I don’t know that I can afford a TOMC right now, but then again…we’ll see. I haven’t gotten any info yet.

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drank Assam GFOP by Kusmi Tea
306 tasting notes

Sipdown of my sample, thanks again Nicole!

Made some of this before work; deliberately made one cup to drink at home and one cup to take in my thermos. Well, I didn’t have a lot of time this morning, so I drank about half my cup, then poured the rest in with the tea to go in the thermos. The tea I tasted was decent, but I knew I’d underleafed a bit and decided to steep it a little longer.

Baaaaaaad plan. That was most definitely NOT Assam flavoring I was sipping on the commute. Whoops.

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I am a baaaaaad trumpet player right now! I’m practicing while drinking tea! And it’s not even a week before I’m leading an instrument care clinic at our store, which will probably include me mentioning that anything you’ve eaten or drank right before playing will go down the trumpet and build up on the inside! Welp, I am planning to get it chem cleaned within the near future. That’s my excuse.

Today’s tea is Guatemalan Black Tea by Teapots & Treasures, a little shop full of tea and knicknacks just off the main circle in downtown Indianapolis. Went there with my friend when I visited her in July; it’s a little bit of a cramped maze, but it has very sweet and personable associates. Also quite the range of medicinal teas… especially for women.

This is infusion #2 of this tea I’m doing today. The first one was okay; I don’t remember thinking a whole lot about it. I think it’s growing on me though. It’s almost malty or something, but there’s a fruity note and a sliver of astringency, possibly from me oversteeping. Not really bitter. Aftertaste is a bit odd. It reminds me of other black teas I’ve had, but I can’t remember which ones. Oh boy this is an eloquent review.

Probably not a restock, but a pleasant little morning cup. I’ve got a few ounces, so this should last me a while.

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SO SLEEPY! But happy. This is surprisingly refreshing. I had popcorn earlier tonight, and this is just green enough to feel cleansing.

I really need to get some pre-bedtime tea with substantial flavoring. I have my two white teas, which I like, but I usually want something with a bit more presence. I’ve tried to tighten up my budget a bit, which means less room for random splurges on tea, but I’m starting to get tempted again. Do I really want to wait for Black Friday?

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Backlog from this morning plus tonight at work. This is always the tea I bust out when I’m stressed. My boss has been gone the past couple of days and tomorrow, which means I’m in charge, which I’ve done several times before but it always makes me just a little nervous. Then, one of the part-timers scheduled an “instrument fitting” (when the kids going into school music programs try out different band instruments to figure out which one they want to play) at a time when both the people in the store (myself and the other part-timer) aren’t fully qualified to do fittings, and for some reason it made me get REALLY STRESSED. Luckily, it worked out that I got one of our lesson teachers, a former band director, to do it. I owe her some kind of baked goods. And now I’m working on my program notes, which are probably fine, but I’m entering that stage of paranoia and perfection, in which I start wondering if I’m writing notes that are helpful enough, or accurate enough, and then I start thinking of what might happen if some hoity-toity music critic from New York read my notes and thought they were absolutely the most asinine analysis of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto he had ever seen. OK, TeaKlutz, time to step awaaaaaaay from the Word document!


I have too much tea and yet I’m intrigued by this one enough to probably get it someday soon… Sounds great


Oh god, I hate that point of paranoya that you get to when you are on the verge of a melt down and just need to step away from the computer and gulp down a cup of tea…or a glass (bottle?) of wine…uggh.

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So after my serendipitous trial of this tea yesterday, I’ve been drinking it for the rest of yesterday and today. I think I shouldn’t overdo this tea, because it’s just distinctive enough I could make myself tired of it if I’m not careful. But still very delicious and brisk!

So yesterday, my day off, was supposed to be my R & R day. Well, until I got an email… there is a local professional (professional-level?) symphony orchestra that I’ve been helping to write program notes for; the lady who normally does it was my really awesome music history professor from college, and she knew I could do them because one of her assignments was to write program notes for the pieces we were covering. Well, the email was an offer for me to officially take over writing program notes, since she was no longer able to do it. Perhaps I should only be mildly excited about this, but I’m thrilled. If I could make a living writing program notes, I would. It’s writing, which I a) majored in and b) am good at (at least, when I try to do it well, not in my Steepster babblings), but it’s writing to help listeners appreciate what they’re hearing, not academic or jargon-y or intimidating. I get to talk about music; I get to research; I get to explain things in ways non-music people can understand and give tidbits of music history knowledge; I get to gush (in a professional and educational manner) about works I love and look for beauty in the ones I don’t; it’s everything I love and why oh why oh why can’t this be a living?

The only downside? First set of notes is due Friday! Aaaaaah!


That sounds awesome!


Program notes? How coool! I want to do that now!


That’s pretty neat!

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Tea is my happy place. I drink tea when I’m at home, when I’m at work, when I’m waking up in the morning or winding down for the night or when I need a little boost in the afternoon. Tea is my official side hobby, and I couldn’t be happier that I’ve discovered such a vast world of flavors, aromas, varieties, and traditions – encapsulated by a beverage that I used to shrug at.

My taste in tea always seems to be changing!

Black teas are far and away my favorite. Great Chinese black teas are one of my weaknesses. I also like a lot of the Earl Grey relatives and I have an affinity for floral teas, especially rose-flavored ones.

I don’t drink green teas as often, but there are a few I quite enjoy.

Same with white teas.

I have some experience with oolongs, but not much. Most of the ones I’ve had taste the same to me, and I’m not huge on the roasty-green flavor. I kinda like the juicy-green ones, though.

I’m exploring pu erhs. I haven’t had many, but the ones I’ve tried have been really intriguing when done right, and it seems like the pu erh universe is a rich and complex one once you get past “IT TASTES LIKE FISH!”

I like rooibos, but I have to be in the mood for it. And it HAS to be in a sachet or a bag. Loose rooibos is more of a pain than it’s worth.

I go through different phases when I’m trying teas. Sometimes, I really want flavored stuff; sometimes I just want to try pu-erhs; sometimes I’m on a rose tea kick, etc. I enjoy building up my base of tea knowledge and even more the experience of finding a new and unexpected thing I love.

I have a tendency to ramble in my tasting notes. Sometimes it’s on topic. Much of the time it’s not. You have been warned.

As for me, I’m 25 years old and I work at a music store and play various instruments. Besides tea, I love bicycling, writing, teaching myself French, watching things from everyone else’s childhood, ASMR, Star Trek, cats, and awful puns. I’m an INFJ and a Libra too, for all it’s worth.

Steepster is absolutely the most positive, kind, and intelligent online community I’ve ever found, and I love meeting fellow tea enthusiasts through here. I look forward to meeting you!

P.S. Any rare soul who recognizes the profile pic gets bonus points forever.


One foot’s on the Holodeck. The other’s in Lancaster, Ohio.

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